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Helen O'Brien

Helen Wells O'Brien

This posting is dedicated in loving memory of Helen’s Dad, Joseph Wells, who died on February 25, 2009.

Helen Wells O’Brien has a unique opportunity as a healer. Since 1998, she has worked as a chaplain for Regions Hospital and Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, Minnesota. She sojourns with families from all different religious backgrounds while they are on their medical journey in one of the two facilities she serves. Believing that healing starts with focusing on emotions, Helen uses her warm and inviting demeanor to encourage discussion amongst her patients/families, which in turn allows them to re-connect with their feelings.

Throughout Helen’s 12-year chaplaincy tenure, she is constantly reminded just how much of life remains a mystery, or as she puts it, “The older I get, the less I know.” As she “holds space” for life’s mysteries, she encourages those she touches to transcend fear. Helen helps her hospital patients and families find their internal strength through some of the darkest hours.

For more on Helen’s life as a chaplain, see her story in “Women as Healers: Voices of Vibrancy.”