Spiritual Care

Our spiritual care team supports all patients and their families inclusive and respectful of all spiritual beliefs. With open hearts and listening ears, they reveal God's love for all by extending friendship, counseling, comfort, care and a helping hand. In caring for the whole person, we believe that what affects the body affects the mind and spirit as well.

Open to all religious beliefs

While Providence is rooted in the Gospel values, our caregivers and chaplains are open to all religious beliefs, as well as to individuals who espouse no belief system at all. Your spiritual advisor, priest, minister or rabbi is always welcome to visit you at Providence.

Providence spiritual caregivers are present to listen non-judgmentally and to support the spirit of the patient and loved ones wherever each may be on their individual journeys as they confront life-limiting illness and death itself.

Chaplains offer compassionate support

Providence provides spiritual care through its chaplains. Chaplains are trained to listen with sensitivity to the stories of individuals and families and in the process to assist with bringing clarity to the spiritual needs present. This may be the need for hope and perseverance as we make our way through an extended period of rehabilitation; or the need for self acceptance and forgiveness as we come to terms with our mortality. Whether in response to an expression of hope or fear, a chaplain can provide skilled and compassionate guidance and support.

Chaplains can help you with: 

  • Contacting your faith community
  • Coping with grief and loss
  • Deepening relationship with God
  • End of life vigil
  • Exploring beliefs and values
  • Exploring spiritual questions
  • Finding meaning in suffering and identify hope, resiliency, and self-acceptance
  • Life review
  • Meditation and guided imagery
  • Memorial service planning
  • Offering a listening presence
  • Prayer
  • Sacraments, rituals and rites
  • Scripture reading and discussion
  • Spiritual music, literature and resources

Spiritual care for hospice patients

Spiritual care is provided by hospice chaplains who are specially trained in listening skills and in understanding death and dying issues. The chaplains are members of the hospice interdisciplinary team, so that a picture of the patient as whole person is a part of their focus. Hospice chaplains can also interface with a patient's own pastor, priest or rabbi if they decide to continue in their care. In addition, patients may receive spiritual care from other members of the hospice team as well.

What issues are discussed with hospice chaplains?

Hospice chaplains talk about whatever the patient wishes to discuss. Many issues patients want to discuss are not necessarily "religious" issues, but life concerns. How has my life had value? What has been important to me in my life? What do I have left to do before I die? Who is important to me?

Other issues are more related to God. Who is God? What do I believe about what happens after I die? Do I need forgiveness? How can I deal with my fears about dying?

Still other issues are specifically religious. How can I get a priest to come? Will a priest give me the sacrament even though I have been disconnected from the church for many years? Am I still a Lutheran even though I haven’t attended church in many years? Can I have communion from a Presbyterian pastor? Will someone come and say a Jewish prayer with me?

Many people simply want another person to come and talk with them about their lives. Life review is a valuable and enjoyable activity for many people, and the chaplains are good listeners.

Planning a memorial service or funeral

Many people do like to plan a service for their family’s sake. Others do not. Spiritual care for hospice patients can extend beyond life issues, if that is what someone wants. Prayers, poetry, scriptures and music can all be chosen ahead of time. If this is your wish, just let a team member know. The family can also request that the chaplain help with the service after the death of the patient.

Hospice is a unique program in that all aspects of a person’s life are considered important. Medical needs are important, but just as important are emotional, social and spiritual needs. Using spiritual care services can be a great asset to your life and your dying.

A quiet place of prayer and reflection

Each of our hospital facilities has a chapel where everyone is welcome for personal prayer, meditation or reflection. Many also offer regularly-scheduled Catholic mass celebrations and other services.

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