Longtime Rosecrance Chaplain Rev. Bill Lenters retires

Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Chaplain Rev. Bill Lenters has helped the Rosecrance family cheer achievements, mourn losses, and make the most of every moment for the past 22 years. On July 1, Rosecrance staff and clients celebrated his retirement with heartfelt stories shared over cupcakes in the John & Roberta Mink Pavilion.

“All of us have a Bill Lenters story where he touched your life,” said Dave Gomel, President of Rosecrance. “He married some of us, he’s buried some of our loved ones, and he’s been there during times of trauma and loss.”

Lenters came to Rosecrance as chaplain in 1998 and counseled young men and women in treatment for substance use and mental health disorders. He holds Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees, and is a published author in the addictions field. His “Bread for the Journey” column is distributed to pastors and churches of many denominations in Illinois and Wisconsin, to Rosecrance staff and to many other avid readers.

During the gathering, many clients spoke about Lenters’ impact on their lives:

“It’s really amazing how your positivity spreads to so many people. You’ve inspired so many people [at Rosecrance] and you’ve helped a lot of us get through treatment. I’m really glad you’ve been a part of my recovery and I wish you the best in retirement.”

“You really sparked my recovery in a positive way. Thank you for that. You really showed me how to be open-minded about myself and others. You’ve shown me a lot of acceptance of my past and present so I can keep moving on. You made a huge impact on me. Thank you and bless you.”

Lenters was moved to tears by the kind words of staff and clients. “I’ve never worked in a job so long, and I must say I’ve never worked in a job where I felt so effective,” he said. “The people who work here with me are incredible. I am so grateful for you and I’ll miss you.”

Lenters will continue to write his Bread for the Journey reflections and stay connected to clients at Rosecrance Lakeview, as this location is near where he resides.