Spiritual Care for Healing and Support
At St. Charles Hospital, our mission is to treat each person with dignity and respect, reaching out to everyone in need, and adhering to the principles of Catholic health care as we follow Jesus in his healing ministry. We do this by providing ongoing pastoral and spiritual support for patients and their families, serving all individuals regardless of religious beliefs or customs, and being a spiritual and supportive presence to our staff at the hospital and our outlying clinics and physical therapy sites.
Pastoral care and spiritual support are integral to the body, mind, and spirit focus of the health care offered at St. Charles Hospital. We continue the dedicated service to, and compassionate care of men, women and children (some of the most vulnerable and underserved), begun by the Daughters of Wisdom—our founding congregation of women religious—over 114 years ago.
Their focus, a legacy now entrusted to us, has always been “to serve God’s people and to be God’s presence in their midst.” We are encouraged to use our gifts and talents to offer compassionate care and loving kindness to all who come to St. Charles Hospital for healing and wholeness.
Chaplains are on duty Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. A priest chaplain is on duty seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and then on call until the next morning.
- Sr. Edith Menegus, OSU, BCC & Director of Pastoral Care
- Cathy Blackman, BCC
- Rev. Mary Larson, UCC
- Fr. Joseph Francis, OFM Cap
- Fr. Henry Vas, OFM Cap, BCC
Our Pastoral Care Program
- Providing ongoing pastoral and spiritual care and support for patients and their families, serving all individuals regardless of religious beliefs or customs.
- Facilitating spiritual conversations for patients and their families and mediating conflict.
- Offering worship, ritual and prayer for patients, their family members, and our staff which are essential to healing and to our work. These include sacraments, Catholic and interfaith prayer, and religious services.
- Morning and evening prayer using offerings from scripture, Catholic theologians, spiritual writers, saints and interfaith resources are transmitted daily throughout the hospital.
- Prayer in support of hospital staff is offered daily at 12:15 p.m. and transmitted throughout the hospital.
- Providing a spiritual and supportive presence to our staff at the hospital and our outlying clinics and physical therapy sites.
- Ministering compassionately to staff through non-judgmental, spiritual and emotional support and counsel, while keeping the utmost confidence.
- Offering emotional and spiritual support for accumulated grief and trauma of staff members.
- Offering comfort and support in times of grief and in crisis situations affecting patients and their families.
- Assisting patients to utilize their personal resources of faith when dealing with illness.
- Responding in a timely manner to all emergencies and deaths.
- Patients are seen by a priest chaplain within 24 hours of admittance. The Sacrament of the Sick is offered to Catholic patients and a blessing/prayer is offered to everyone else.
- Offering a morning spiritual reflection/prayer experience for the patients in our detox unit.
- Offering a weekly spirituality program for the residents of our 28-day aftercare program for people recovering from addiction. Mass is also offered on Saturday and Sunday in that unit.
- Chaplains serve on the Palliative Care core team as the spiritual professional offering assistance in end-of-life issues and goals of care conversations.
- Offering the Emily’s Gift ministry, a special bereavement program for families suffering an early pregnancy loss.
The Sacrament of the Sick is offered to every Catholic patient within 24 hours of admittance. Holy Communion is offered to patients and their family members by our priest chaplains, chaplains and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered upon request, assuring the individual’s privacy.
During COVID-19, the Catholic chaplains and priest chaplains respond to requests for Communion. A patient or family member may request Communion by calling the Pastoral Care office at 631-474-6411.
Mass is offered each day in our Chapel and televised to patients’ rooms on Channel 88:
- Monday to Friday at 12:00 p.m.
- Saturday at 4:00 p.m.
- Sunday at 8:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Holy Communion is distributed during the day, usually between 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., by our volunteer extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion.
During COVID-19 pandemic the Catholic chaplains and priest chaplains respond to requests for Communion. A patient or family member may request Communion by calling the Pastoral Care office at 631-474-6411.
Bereavement support is offered on an individual basis for patients and/or family members upon request or as needed. This support may continue for the patient after discharge and for the family member in person or by phone. The Director of Pastoral Care, also a board certified chaplain, is responsible for this program.
Patients must first grant permission to the chaplain for a religious leader from his or her own worship center to be contacted. With this permission, the chaplain may make the call and speak directly to the religious leader or leave a message asking the religious leader to return the call without leaving the name of the patient. An appropriate visit will be arranged if possible.
After hours, the hospital operator will contact the priest chaplain on call or the Director of Pastoral Care for an appropriate resolution. Staff will arrange such a visit, if possible.
St. Charles Hospital participates in a joint Ethics Committee with St. Catherine of Siena Hospital. The joint Ethics Committee will be called together for an ethics consult whenever necessary and follow the appropriate protocol. Our pastoral care staff perform all their functions, including ethical consultation, in accordance with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.
In emergencies, call the St. Charles Hospital operator at 631-474-6000 who will then contact the chaplain and/or priest chaplain on duty. A call may also be made to the Pastoral Care office or the Pastoral Care Director when necessary.
Non-urgent referrals, known as spiritual referrals, are entered into the Electronic Health Record (EHR) of a patient. These referrals are monitored on a regular basis during the day by the chaplains who enter an appropriate note, mindful of patient confidentiality, after the visit has taken place. The Pastoral Care Department may also be contacted at 631-862-3104.
Do you or a loved one need palliative care?
Our dedicated palliative care specialists help patients achieve the best quality of life.
Sr. Edith Menegus
“In this healing ministry of Jesus, I am invited into moments of such grace and vulnerability, accompanying people in times of sadness or joy, challenge or accomplishment, listening from my heart. I try to help people find within themselves what they need to take the next steps on this journey, always offering hope.”
-Sr. Edith Menegus, OSU, BCC, director of pastoral care and palliative care chaplain for St. Charles Hospital and St. Catherine of Siena Hospital. A member of the Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk, U.S. Province, she has served at Catholic Health for over 10 years.
Catholic Health's pastoral care team welcomes prayer requests for spiritual support.
Our I-CARE Values
Integrity: We are who we say we are and act in accordance with the splendor of truth of our Catholic moral teaching and our Catholic values.
Compassion: We have compassion for our patients, see the suffering Christ in them, strive to alleviate suffering and serve the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of our patients.
Accountability: We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.
Respect: We honor the sanctity of life at every stage of life and the dignity of every person, and incorporate all the principles of Catholic social teaching in our relationships and advocacy.
Excellence: We seek the glory of God in the compassionate service of our patients, and we strive to do the best that can be done, whatever our role.
We, at Catholic Health, humbly join together to bring Christ’s healing mission and the mission of mercy of the Catholic Church expressed in Catholic health care to our communities.
Role of Spiritual Care at Catholic Health
Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services