Spiritual Services

"I believe we are all called to do simple and ordinary things, with an extraordinary spirit."

- Conceicao Mesquita, Chaplain

Mind, Body, Spirit

Spiritual Services is a hands-on expression of the Resurrection Health Care Mission. More than 100 chaplains walk the halls of RHC hospitals and facilities, working to heal the mind, body and spirit of patients, residents, their family members and employees. Their role is both simple and complex. They offer compassionate listening. They comfort those who are sick or suffering, whether that means singing to them or praying with them. They help people find meaning in their pain. They provide rituals of healing and sacraments of any religious affiliation, including making funeral arrangements or arranging marriage vows. They help people understand God's love for who they are. They give hope. They help people put their lives back on track. They improve the health of our communities.

Spiritual Services provides an open, caring, compassionate environment that helps people draw on his or her own unique beliefs and practices for comfort, courage and strength. RHC chaplains value the diversity of ways in which faith is expressed and are committed to responding to an individual's spiritual and/or emotional needs.

The Spiritual Services staff ensures that Mass is offered and several quiet areas exist so patients, residents, visitors and employees can reflect, pray or meditate, including chapels and prayer spaces. Sister Marlene Panko, SSND finds a quiet area twice a week at Holy Family Medical Center where staff members can stop by to hear her healing words and experience her healing touch. Within a few minutes, Sister Marlene provides a hand massage, encourages the individuals to talk about their life and offers them a blessing. Before they leave, she offers them a stone with an inspirational message that helps motivate them throughout the day. Employees leave feeling energized, confident that Sister Marlene's caring touch and loving words will make a difference in their day.

Patricia Wabomnor, Occupational Therapist (right) with Sister Marlene (left)

"My visits with Sister Marlene fulfill something in me, they help me connect with myself in way that I can bring her healing words to my patients," said Patricia Wabomnor, occupational therapist, who visits Sister Marlene as often as possible.

"Providing these few moments of relaxation for an employee empowers him or her to return to work, to their patients, feeling personally renewed in mind, body and spirit," said Sister Marlene Panko.

Instrumental Grace of Chaplains

"Patients often arrive [at the hospital] overwhelmed by dozens of issues. It is the chaplain who often assists patients in sorting out their lives. Chaplains desire to listen; we are trained to listen and thus can help patients listen to the rhythm of their own lives, allowing them, in the quiet of their own room or upon discharge, to better see their own path to a more peaceful and richer life."

- Bill Kramer, Chaplain

Compassionate Care At The End Of Life

Recognizing when it may be the final earthly home of our patients or residents, chaplains provide support and care for times of transition, especially end of life. Chaplains can provide a listening presence and prayers, if appropriate, with persons who are transitioning. Families often appreciate someone who can be with them at this time.

Staff members keep chaplains informed of changes in a patient or resident's medical status. Chaplains provide appropriate religious and spiritual practices for each individual, within the limits of our resources. Catholic patients and residents are offered the Sacrament of the Sick shortly after admission and as requested. Holy Communion is distributed to patients, residents and employees who request it. Memorial services are held as appropriate for patients, residents, and employees for families of the deceased.

Suffering & Hope

"Suffering is an experience that every one of us, as humans, goes through. It is experienced in different ways and levels and the hospital setting is a place where suffering can be seen in its rawest form. A life-threatening diagnosis, chemotherapy, the dialysis process and other such procedures carry with them the reality of suffering, whether it is physical or psychological. The question for us as chaplains is to understand how we can offer opportunities for people to find and give meaning to their suffering."

- Isidro Gallegos, Coordinator

"We were lucky to have you with us. You have been an inspiration, and we speak of you often," wrote Tim and Joanne Smyth in a thank you letter to Sister Sandi Sosnowski, CSFN, Chaplain.

The short time Sister Sandi spent helping Tim and Joanne find meaning in the still birth of their first child Aidan Michael in July 2006, left a significant impact on the couple. "We were so moved by Sister Sandi's guidance. Her work made a lasting impact on us and sometimes I wonder if we would have made it through one of the most difficult times in our lives without her," Joanne said. Through compassionate listening, Sister Sandi comforted the young couple and their family members, leading them on their journey of healing, bringing some closure to the traumatic event by performing an important Name Blessing ceremony.

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