“Pastoral Care Week celebrated its 30th year last week. It’s a week set aside to honor those who provide spiritual support to others. This year’s theme was “spiritual well-being” and depicted how pastoral caregivers support others in times of challenge and ease.
But have you ever wondered what a chaplain does, particularly in the health care setting? You may have seen a chaplain in a hospital room while you were a patient or while you were visiting a loved one.
A chaplain is there to offer comfort and support to patients and families. Professional chaplains see the job as strengthening the connections that patients have with the spiritual and religious resources that are important to them, supporting them in the practices that they find meaningful, and protecting their religious freedom.
Chaplains seek to raise an awareness of the spiritual dimension of life — here in the hospital and particularly in our role on the health care team, because we are convinced that attention to it contributes to health, wholeness and human flourishing.