Spiritual care services

Spiritual Care Services is committed to serving all patients, their families, staff and volunteers at St. Mary’s General Hospital, regardless of faith or creed. A Chapel and Multi-faith Prayer room are located on the 3rd floor and are available to all patients, visitors and staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How We Can Help

Spiritual & Religious Caregivers (Professional Chaplains or Volunteers) assist with coping strategies and provide support to those in distress. Our diverse team can provide: counselling, a caring presence, rituals, and advocacy.

To reach Spiritual Care, call switchboard (“0” when in hospital or 519-744-3311 outside) for assistance, or directly 519-749-6578 ext. 1175.

Our Staff

“Professional chaplains bring time tested spiritual resources that help patients focus on transcendent meaning, purpose and value.” Larry Vandecreek and Laurel Burton, 2001

The core business hours for Spiritual Care are Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Our team is structured as follows:

Contacts (by title and area of service)

  • Medical & Surgical Programs and Emergency Department
    Steve Janzen and Vicki Shepherd-Rao
    519-749-6578 ext. 1181
  • Cardiac Program, Medical/Surgical Intensive Care Unit
    Reverend Cindy Lee
    519-749-6578 ext. 1182

On-call spiritual care support

Spiritual Care support is available 24/7/365 at St. Mary’s. On call Chaplains provide coverage weekdays from 4:30 p.m. until 8:30 a.m., and on weekends from 4:30 p.m. on Friday until 8:30 a.m. on Monday. To access the on-call service, simply call the hospital switchboard (dial ‘0’ from an internal phone or 519-744-3311 from an outside line).

Our Credo

Created in the image and likeness of God, each person has dignity and worth deserving respect and care.

Caring relationships heal and promote personal wholeness in mind, body and spirit. Pastoral Care is one expression of concern rooted in God’s love for all creation.

Though sickness and suffering are part of the human condition, fullness of life is the human destiny. Even death cannot overcome life for those who believe. The Spiritual Care Services staff of St. Mary’s General Hospital journey with those in need of healing through compassion. We act on behalf of those patients and their families who feel overburdened and are paralyzed by distress. We rejoice with those who discover new meaning and dare to live more deeply in the midst of loss and change.

In caring, we hope to become co-creators with God, and realize the power of Jesus who comes to bring the fullness of life to all.

Spiritual Care Activities at St. Mary’s

Interdenominational Worship

  • Each Wednesday at 1100 for patients and their families. Pastors volunteer for a 20-minute period of worship.

Celebration of Eucharist (Mass)

  • Each First Thursday of the month in Resurrection Chapel

Memorial Service

  • For next-of-kin of patients who have died during a three month period of time. Memorial services are held in March, June, September and December on Tuesday evenings.


  • Eucharistic Ministers attend and distribute communion to Roman Catholic patients Monday to Friday on designate units. Each Sunday a team of Eucharistic Ministers distribute communion to all the units.

Supervised Pastoral Education

St. Joseph’s Health System

As part of the St. Joseph’s Health System, Supervised Pastoral Education at St. Mary’s is offered in collaboration with other member organizations in Guelph, Hamilton, Brantford and Dundas. Beyond a diversity of supervisory staff, this system-wide approach affords our students placement sites ranging from acute to long-term, complex care, palliative to psychiatric, with many specialized centres of clinical practice and research. Learn more about the SPE program, or download the application form.