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SJHH / Patients & Visitors/ Support Services/ Spiritual Care

Spiritual Care

What We Believe

Spirituality is that part of each individual that seeks to find meaning and purpose in life. There are a myriad of ways people may give expression to that which is centering, sacred or revered in this regard. The Spiritual Care team respectfully honours the many expressions of spirituality, religious or otherwise that patients, families and staff may draw upon in their life experience. In collaboration with other members of the healthcare team, professional spiritual care providers help to integrate spiritual and religious aspects of care, as defined by the individual, into the care of the whole person - body, mind and spirit.

What We Do

Members of the Spiritual Care team at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton are trained and certified professionals who follow the standards set by the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care, C.A.S.C. Within their scope of practice and in accordance with the CASC Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, Spiritual Care Professionals. Spiritual Care Staff are also Registered Psychotherapists and are members of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario:

• Provide spiritual and religious care to inpatient and outpatient populations and their attending family members and friends
• Provide connection with community faith and spiritual tradition representatives
• Explore the spiritual significance and meaning experienced in times of sickness
• Examine the implications of one’s life, family and community as a result of the medical experience
• Provide bereavement support
• Provide e-learning to enhance your knowledge of spiritual care. Click here for e-learning

For more information on 'What We Do', please click here

How We Can Help

As a Catholic organization founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Hamilton and inspired by the life and healing mission of Jesus, our Spiritual Care staff respect and value each person’s spiritual, religious and cultural beliefs.  Among the times when a member of the Spiritual Care team can provide support to patients, families and staff are the following:

• When patients, family members or staff requests spiritual support
• When a patient, family is struggling with impending surgery, prognosis or diagnosis; death and dying, grief and significant loss
• When questions or concerns of a spiritual or religious nature arise
• When prayer, spiritual reflection, or specific spiritual or religious related rituals are requested

For more information on 'How We Can Help', please click here

St. Joseph’s Hospital Chapel Design & Wood Carved Screen: Thematic Summary

The design of St. Joseph's Hospital Chapel is inspired by scripture, "I am the vine, you are the branches."

Christ is present in our lives in many ways. This is shown by the physical set up of the space and by the carved imagery of a vine throughout the Chapel. It is intended to promote deeper thought and prayer about the meaning and significance of this scriptural passage.

The large carved wood screen 3 m. x 5 m. room divider in the Chapel is both practical and inspirational. Its practical, functional purpose is to provide a more personable, private and comfortable separation for visitors. Visitors may use the Chapel to simply say a prayer or sometimes to contemplate more distressed personal aspects. The smaller space defined by the screen leads one to a more private space which presents itself in a comfortable way depending on the psychological disposition of the visitor. The larger Chapel space addresses the requirements of liturgical functions as worship through the mass. Visual contact is not lost by anyone seated anywhere in the Chapel as the screen is pierced.

The inspirational aspects of the screen centre around the spiritual subject matter of its imagery. It tells a story. Closest to the entrance the carving shows a barren thorny growth. Its thorny branches suggest the context for the agony in the garden. As the carving flows toward the Tabernacle, the symbol of the resurrection and salvation, there is a metamorphosis of the barren branches into a fruitful grapevine. Leaves and groups of grapes appear. In the upper sections of the carving there are symbolic spiritual rays which radiate from an angel which is also moving toward the Tabernacle. '"I am the vine, you are the branches" subsequently is established through the screens imagery and then appears throughout every major Chapel feature.

As one sits within the Chapel for whatever purpose, the carving suggests to the visitor a summary of scripture and a way of not losing hope and resolve. The entire Chapel with its warm and inviting nature becomes a source of caring and inspiration.

- Achim Klaas