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:
Assisting with difficult decisions
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
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."
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.
Other prayer services, celebrations and memorials are held in the chapel throughout the year.
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.