Corporate Chaplaincy Making a Difference

September 2019

ChillerIt has been just over two years since Rich Femia became FSE's Corporate Chaplain. While all of Rich's conversations and meetings with employees are confidential, one employee has stepped forward to tell her story.

About a year ago, Martha Goering, Cleaning Supervisor at the NOAA in Suitland, MD, was not feeling well. After many tests, her primary care physician told her, "you have a very big issue with your liver." After a scan, a specialist told Martha that her liver was extremely damaged and they would need to operate. "It was very scary," she recalls. Martha kept the news to herself, not even sharing it with her husband, for almost three weeks.

One day, Rich visited her site. "Before, I'd never met him," she explains. "I had this feeling, I need to talk to somebody. I need to talk to anybody."

After talking, Rich and Martha prayed together. "He prayed for me, and after that, I prayed and I prayed," she says. Days later, Martha started feeling better. After a month, she went back to the doctor and had another test. The physician told her the results were different. Martha continued to pray every day, and months later, she took another test. "I don't have anything now," she says, "It's incredible!"

"I don't know exactly what happened, but I'm okay," tells Martha. "I am perfectly healthy in less than six months." JR Faunce, NOAA Project Manager, calls it a miracle. "I want to thank Rich for coming out and supporting the sites. It makes everyone feel good," he adds. "It's like having a mentor, even if you're not religious. He's a guy you can talk to about issues – everything stays with him." He goes on to say that it's not like talking to your father, brother sister or wife. "It is someone you can confide in, someone you can trust," he says. "It's worked well here. Martha is an extreme example of that."

Martha echoes this sentiment. "He can help because when someone listens to you, it's different than talking to your family," she says. "He knows how to listen; how to encourage."