Frequently Asked Questions About Pastoral Care

Q. What exactly do chaplains do?

A. Our chaplains provide spiritual and pastoral care to patients, residents, their families, and our staff members.

They are an integral part of interdisciplinary teams that meet weekly to review patients condition and progress to develop the best plan of care for each patient.

Chaplains are trained to accurately assess the spiritual needs of all patients they consult. Chaplains will spend whatever time is necessary to listen to the patient's life story, current concerns, spiritual questions, and vivid emotions. Chaplains connect with the people they meet and bring a sense of calm among chaos. Chaplains attempt to create an environment of trust and peace in sometimes painful situations.

Q. What services does Pastoral Care provide?

Here are some of the services chaplains perform at St. Vincent's: 

  • Sacrament of Anointing
  • Reconciliation
  • Holy Communion
  • Baptism
  • Daily Catholic Mass
  • Episcopal service at 11 a.m. Wednesdays at St. Catherine's
  • Quarterly memorial services to honor patients who have gone home to God
  • Family-requested memorial services for patients who die in the hospital
  • End-of-life interventions
  • Prayer and prayer services for individuals and families
  • Family counsel and support

Q. How would you describe the Chaplain's ministry?

A. Chaplains are trained and skilled in a relational ministry of listening and presence. By providing both excellent listening skills and theological and clinical expertise, chaplains offer a wide range of care to respond to community needs for guidance, healing, reconciliation, and compassion.

Q. How do you pray with patients?

A. Prayer is a major component of our pastoral care and spiritual comfort. We pray during our visits when patients request it, which most do. We try to pray in a manner consistent with the religion of the patient, and always respect whatever religious or spiritual beliefs, or lack thereof, the individual possesses.

Chaplains provide a ministry of presence that calms and soothes the soul, heals the heart, comforts the spirit, and provides joy and humor that ultimately honors the dignity and worth of each person.

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