Four Questions: Rev. Raymond Decker, Ph.D.November 10, 2016
Q1: How long have you been at Hanna Boys Center and what motivates you back every day?
I have been at Hanna just since April 2016. I am motivated to come every day because I am dedicated to the mission and program of Hanna. I personally knew the founders, Fathers O’Connor and Flannagan, and have been inspired by these two men who wanted to help boys who were struggling with certain disadvantages become healthy, happy and fulfilled men.
Q2: You fulfill a special and unique role at Hanna Boys Center – tell us more about what you do here.
Because of my interest in Hanna and serving on a volunteer basis, I was asked in April 2016 to function as an interim chaplain until a search could be done for a permanent chaplain. My function as chaplain has been to be available to the boys and the staff for counseling purposes and to provide for the sacramental needs of the boys, staff and alumni. As it turns out, much of my functions have developed into an ombudsman for both the boys and the staff. My previous experience in teaching law school, administrating an office of research and planning for the Archdiocese of San Francisco and executive secretary of the priests’ senate of the Archdiocese of San Francisco has equipped me somewhat to deal with the challenges and busy environment here at Hanna.
Q3: What’s your favorite quote and why?
My favorite quote is “God is love.” I John 4:16, because it comes as close as anything to who and what God is, and thus serves as a basis for all reality including our own mode of conduct in life. The reality that “God is love,” most inspires me, because it gives me an understanding into life and a motivation in my dealings of my fellow human beings.
Q4: What’s your most cherished memory from your work here at Hanna?
There are too many cherished memories to select just one. I am delighted that my presence here is looked upon as a neutral setting where both boys and staff can come to discuss both problems and successes. In this capacity, I am able to provide guidance and resolve conflicts on an informal basis, and encourage both boys and staff in the good work they are doing.