Newfoundlanders open their hearts to ailing Episcopal Church bishop

Published September 1, 2004

American bishop Terence Kelshaw was hospitalized for three weeks in St. John’s after falling ill June 4 on a transatlantic flight from Turkey to his home in Albuquerque , N.M.

?I had been leading a pilgrimage to the seven churches of Revelation in Turkey . We changed planes in Frankfurt and were heading for Denver . Coming over Canada , I felt short of breath. There was a German doctor on board and he decided I ought not to go to Denver ,? said Bishop Kelshaw in an interview.

The plane made an emergency landing in Goose Bay , Labrador , where Bishop Kelshaw and his family were met by an ambulance. He was in hospital for three days in Goose Bay , then transferred to the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s , where he spent 10 days in intensive care, he said.

Bishop Kelshaw, who is 67, was diagnosed with double pneumonia and treated with antibiotics.

He was visited several times by Bishop Don Harvey of the diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador and the hospital chaplains, Rev. Garry Parsons and Canon William Noel. Clergy in the diocese offered to host Bishop Kelshaw’s wife, Hazel, in their homes, but ?she wanted to stay at the hospital because it really was touch-and-go there for a while,? said Bishop Harvey.

However, said the bishop, ?the traditional Newfoundland hospitality rose again.? Bishop Kelshaw praised clergy and lay people in the diocese for their visits and the care given Mrs. Kelshaw, who was taken out to dinner and shown around the city. ?It was an apostolic experience. Here is a stranger passing through the land and they ministered to me and it was wonderful. It reinforced my view that hospitals need chaplains. The work that Father Noel does and the hope he brings to everyone ? not just Anglicans ? in the hospital is wonderful,? said Bishop Kelshaw.

Mr. Noel drove the Kelshaws to the airport at 4 a.m. on June 29 for the flight home, said Bishop Kelshaw. Bishop Harvey also telephoned Bishop Kelshaw’s office and one of his episcopal colleagues in the U.S. with regular updates on his progress.

As of early August, Bishop Kelshaw was home and still on oxygen, but spending two days a week at the office and, he said, ?doing a lot better.? Bishop Kelshaw said he and his wife hope to return for a visit and to thank Newfoundlanders for their kindness.


  • Solange DeSantis

    Solange De Santis was a reporter for the Anglican Journal from 2000 to 2008.

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