Pastoral Care Services
At St. Mary’s, we believe in treating the whole person – body, mind and spirit. Through our Pastoral Care services, our Chaplains and Pastoral Care staff are able to provide an important dimension of holistic care to patients, visitors, associates and guests that promote both physical and spiritual well-being.
Ministers of all faiths and denominations are welcome to visit and counsel patients who are members of their faith communities. The Pastoral Care office can help contact patients' ministers and faith leaders if desired.
What to expect from a St. Mary’s Chaplain
Chaplains provide patients, families, associates and physicians the experience of God's compassion, love and healing presence. As members of an interdisciplinary healthcare team, they identify pastoral and spiritual needs and provide support to those who may be experiencing spiritual distress. Our chaplains also communicate with other members of the healthcare team in developing and implementing a pastoral plan of care.
Patients may expect the following from our chaplains:
- Compassionate care
- Good listening skills
- Respect for your privacy
- Regular visits when appropriate
- Support for patients and family
- Bereavement care
- Information and guidance regarding ethical issues, advance directives, life support decisions and organ donation
How to contact a Chaplain
To contact a Chaplain, patients may ask the nurse or dial "0" for an operator who will assist. Chaplains are available for emergencies 24 hours daily. Routine referrals are normally addressed within 24 hours, during normal work hours. Chaplains respond to emergency and urgent referrals at any hour of the day.
Request a Chaplain visit
If you would like to request a chaplain visit by an interfaith chaplain for a patient at St. Mary's Medical Center, please complete the form.
St. Mary’s Chapel
Our Chapel provides a quiet space in the holy presence of God where all are welcome. Available for prayer and meditation 24 hours a day, it is accessible through the Center for Advanced Medicine, as well as the main entrance of St. Mary's Medical Center.
Mass is available:
Sunday - 9:00 a.m.
Monday-Friday - 11:30 a.m.
Saturday - No Mass
Patients may view our Masses on Chapel Channel 80 on the televisions in their hospital rooms. Patients who wish to attend services should check in advance with their physician for permission to leave the unit.
Our Chapel expresses a Catholic liturgical environment that includes:
- Tabernacle - Receptacle that contains sacred vessels of consecrated bread for Holy Communion (Eucharist) distribution to our patients
- Sanctuary - This lit candle indicates that the Eucharist is present in the tabernacle
- Altar - Table for celebrating Mass (Catholic worship)
- Ambo (lectern/podium) - Place where the Liturgy of the Word is proclaimed during Mass
- Credence - Small side table where the vessels for Mass (chalice, water, wine and linens) are placed
- Presider's Chair - Chair used by the priest who presides at the Liturgical Service/Mass
- Stations of the Cross - Images of Christ's "Way of the Cross," from his trial to his Resurrection
- Holy water fonts - Located on both sides of Chapel entrance, for blessing upon entering and exiting the Chapel
In addition to the regular Mass schedule, the Chapel is used for special prayer services and programs such as Ash Wednesday, and memorial services for St. Mary's associates and patients. No weddings, meetings, support groups, etc. are permitted in the Chapel.
All services must be planned in consultation with the Director of Pastoral Care or a designee.
Sacraments and Holy Communion
Sacrament of Reconciliation
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available to Catholic patients upon request. A Chaplain is available to assist with making referrals to the appropriate priest.
Daily distribution of Holy Communion to Catholic patients is available. If you desire to receive Holy Communion, indicate this to the volunteer when you are contacted. A volunteer group, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, assist Catholic Chaplains in administering Holy Communion.
Anointing of the Sick
The use of blessed oil is symbolic of Jesus' healing and comforting power. Catholic patients may receive the Sacrament of the Sick upon request. A Chaplain can assist with contacting the appropriate priest. Patients of other faiths may likewise request prayer with anointing of oil.
Medical Ethics Consultation
If you have an ethical concern, please contact a chaplain 24/7 at 812.429.4065 (wait to key in your phone number) or the Pastoral Care office at 812.485.4150, M-F, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. A chaplain will contact you. Once the ethical concern is expressed, a Chaplain Facilitator will work closely with the "Community of Concern." The Community of Concern includes, but is not limited to:
- Significant others
- Medical staff
- Nursing staff
- Healthcare advocates
- Interdisciplinary teams
- Social services
A Medical Ethics Consultation occurs when any member of the Community of Concern questions whether an ethical dilemma exists in the care of a patient. View Ethical and Religious Directives - here.
It is important to make your future healthcare decisions known to your family, friends and healthcare providers. Advance Directives (AD), such as a Living Will or Appointment of Health Care Representative, are legal documents that state your desires should you lose the ability to make your own healthcare decisions. Patients wanting more information or assistance in preparing an Advance Directive may ask their nurse to contact a chaplain or dial 485.4150 on their room phone.