Pastoral Care 

The Pastoral Care Department staff provides spiritual and emotional support, pastoral ministry and religious resources to patients and their families, and to the staff of SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Chaplains are integrated in the life of the hospital, understand the culture of health care and medicine, and have specific Clinical Pastoral Education training to minister in situations of crisis, loss and illness to persons of all faiths and types of spirituality. Our chaplains are required to be board-certified by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains or the Association of Professional Chaplains or the Association of Jewish Chaplains.

Ministry to Patients and Families       

Please let your nurse know when you need a chaplain for conversation, support, guidance, the sacraments, prayer, grieving, thanksgiving or to help with questions regarding advance directives.

A chaplain can help by:

  • Listening
  • Assisting with difficult decisions
  • Facilitating communication
  • Helping you deal with worries, fears or pain
  • Helping with ethical concerns, values and decisions
  • Providing spiritual preparation for surgery
  • Being with you when you are alone
  • Praying with you
  • Praying with families at times of death
  • Helping family, friends and staff
  • Helping you draw upon the resources of your own faith
  • Providing sacraments and religious services
  • Providing devotional materials
  • Contacting someone from your faith tradition
  • Providing information about advanced directives and assisting with writing them

Advanced Directives

Information and documents for advanced directives are provided by the chaplains upon patients' request. Chaplains offer notary services only for medical documents. Advance Directives include "Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care" and "Health Care Directive."

Sacraments

For Catholic patients, Eucharistic Ministry for Holy Communion is available Sunday through Friday. Sacramental Ministry for confession and anointing of the sick for restoration to the body, mind and spirit is available upon request.

Chapel of Christ the Crucified King

The Chapel of Christ the Crucified King is open 24 hours a day and is located on the third floor in the Desloge Tower. It is a beautiful space for prayer and quiet reflection.

  • Catholic Mass is celebrated in the chapel or can be viewed on Channel 6 at noon Monday-Friday or at 10:30 am on Sunday.
  • Islamic prayer is offered in the chapel at 1:30 pm on Friday.

Other prayer services, celebrations and memorials are held in the chapel throughout the year.

Ethics

Chaplains are the access point of contact for ethics consultations. The Pastoral Care staff serves on the hospital's ethics committee, and educates regarding the Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs) for Catholic Healthcare Services which the hospital follows.

The function of the ethics committee is to:

  • Respond to ethical concerns and dilemmas concerning specific patients' care
  • Carry out educational activities related to ethical decision making
  • Review hospital policies and procedures to be aligned with the ERDs

Participation in Hospital Life

The Pastoral Care staff serves on all major hospital committees and is well integrated in the life of the hospital. Pastoral Care staff organizes mission events such as the "Caring Physician Awards," the "Martin Luther King, Jr." celebration, and the Annual Memorial Service for patients and staff who have died during the year.

Contact Pastoral Care

Chaplains may be reached 24 hours a day by calling the hospital operator, 314-577-8000, and asking for the chaplain on call.