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Q&A with Chaplain Brian Greene

Q) What inspired you to become a chaplain, and how do you see your role in supporting others?

A) My father, a Vietnam veteran, faced significant challenges readjusting to civilian life after his military service. At that time, there was not the level of support and understanding of trauma that there is today. Despite reaching out to external agencies, their assistance proved limited during that period. Additionally, seeking support from the local church proved unfruitful, as they struggled to provide effective help. My family endured numerous trials and hardships while attempting to address with external solutions all of the internal wounds the war caused. As I went through my own faith journey, I was able to come alongside my father and help him rediscover his own path to faith. He was slowly able to find the healing he needed to find a new life despite the pain of the past. Seeing this firsthand experience of the healing power of hope, I wanted to share it with others so they could experience some of that same purpose and meaning in their lives.  


Q) What motivated your decision to become a chaplain at Benilde Hall?

A) I really LOVE everything about being a chaplain and feel called to this type of ministry that is so unique and rewarding! I cannot describe how blessed I feel daily. I have a background in Pastoral Counseling and Addiction Counseling and experience as an Army Reserve chaplain. This combination is an uncommon skill set for a church environment but well-suited for my chaplain role at Benilde Hall. I have been very fortunate that Benilde Hall has welcomed me with this opportunity to serve.


Q) How do you approach providing spiritual or emotional support to individuals from diverse backgrounds or belief systems?

A) The name chaplain comes from the Latin word for cloak or "capella." According to legend, a Roman soldier named Martin used his sword to split his cloak in half so that he could share it with a naked, homeless man. What I like about this story is that Martin did not overcomplicate the situation. Martin simply saw a need and took what he had to help that person through a terrible moment in that man's life. Although the source of my hope, faith, and love might come from a different background or belief system, that does not prevent me from sharing my hope, faith, and love with persons of all spiritual backgrounds to help them get through their most challenging moments.


Q) What are the most common questions or concerns clients usually have for you when starting Benilde Hall, and what advice do you give them? 

A) I am still very new to my role at Benilde Hall, so much of what I have done to this point has been more of being a 'guide on the side' than a 'sage on the stage.' Some people have had religious-related questions, and we have sat down together and found the answers in Scripture together. Sometimes, a person just needs a kind person to sit and pray with them for healing. But most of the time, I sit down with the person, listen to their story, and help them see their situation from a higher, spiritual perspective. Most people understand the secular world very well but need some sacred perspective to find the purpose and meaning behind the events in their lives. When they start seeing things through the spirit inside them and not with just their eyes, the person usually finds their own advice is far better than anything I could give them.


Q) In your opinion, what is the most rewarding aspect of being a chaplain, and how do you foster a sense of community and connection in the spaces you serve?

A) In the book of Job, there is a chapter that asks what hope there could be for a tree that has been cut down. Many people have metaphorically experienced that same tragedy where life has cut them down, and they feel like they will never have a chance to live and grow again. But the verse goes on to say, "Yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant" (Job 14:9, English Standard Version). This idea that new life can spring forth from just the hope of water is reflected so much in the lives of the participants at Benilde Hall, who find new meaning and purpose in their lives. Every day, I see the staff and fellow participants work together and bring that new hope to struggling people. It is an honor to be a small part of that community and a great blessing in my life.