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What is a chaplain?

What does a chaplain do at a hospital like Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center? A chaplain comforts, helps, prays, listens, accompanies, laughs, advises, instructs, cares, nurtures, counsels, and more. At its core, the role of chaplains is to promote and respect patients' values and beliefs, encouraging a holistic approach to healthcare.

What Does a Chaplain Do?

Comforts, counsels, cares
Helps, hopes, hugs, holds
Assists, acknowledges, advocates, accompanies
Prays, passes peace
Listens, laments, laughs, loves
Accepts, acts, advises
Invites, incarnates, instructs
Notices needs, nurtures

Where are the Chaplains?

The Spiritual Care office is located in Room C165, near the Green Elevators in the Cooley Lobby. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

How do I contact a Chaplain?

832-355-3258 is the Spiritual Care office phone number. After office hours, you may leave a message at this number. Messages are retrieved periodically throughout the day and night. You can fax a message at 832-355-4329, which is available 24 hours a day.

When do I contact a Chaplain?

You can ask for a Chaplain to visit you any time, day or night. During your pre-admission, you may request a visit for the day of your surgery. If you are feeling down during your hospital stay, a visit with the Chaplain might help put things in perspective. You might want to share in Holy Communion while you are a patient, and a Chaplain can bring it to you in your hospital room. If you are pondering those ultimate questions of life’s meaning, a Chaplain is here for you.

Where is the Chapel?

Cullen Memorial Chapel is located by the Cooley Lobby and the Green Elevators

When can I worship at St. Luke’s?

The chapel is open 24 hours each day for prayer and meditation. It also houses a small Musallah.

With regard to public worship, a general schedule of televised public worship services is available for patients, families of patients, and staff. This schedule is televised on channel 18 of the closed-circuit hospital system, and is as follows:

10 a.m. Morning Worship (Ecumenical)
12 p.m. (Noon) Roman Catholic Mass

12 PM (Noon) Noonday Prayers


How can I have communion during my hospital stay?

Call 832-355-3258 and request communion be brought to your room. For our Roman Catholic patients, a priest is available during the daytime hours. Any requests will be forwarded to him.

What is the Catholic Chaplains Corps?

The Diocese of Galveston-Houston provides Roman Catholic sacramental and pastoral care through the Catholic Chaplains Corps. They visit patients, families and staffs of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, and the other institutions in the Texas Medical Center. The CCC consists of chaplains, priests and religious sisters, and specially trained lay people (Pastoral Assistants) who seek to bring the healing presence of Christ to those they serve.

You may contact the Catholic Chaplains Corps at 713-747-8445.

Do other denominations offer similar services?

Yes. Please designate your denomination when you register so that your name will be given to those who visit patients in the hospital.

Our chaplains promote and respect patients' values and beliefs, encouraging a holistic approach to healthcare.  You can ask for a chaplain to visit you any time, day or night by calling 832-355-3258.

The Role of Chaplains in Healthcare

Chaplains promote and respect religious, spiritual and cultural dignities that are proven essential to health and healing.  For several years, Harvard cardiologist Herbert Benson has conducted popular, biannual educational events for healthcare professionals that explore spirituality and healing in medicine.  Following intensive research, he (1999) wrote, "I am astonished that my scientific studies have so conclusively shown that our bodies are wired to (be) nourished and healed by prayer and other exercises of belief."  Professional chaplains respect and respond to patient values and beliefs, encouraging a more holistic approach to healthcare.

Source: Professional Chaplaincy: Its Role and Importance in Healthcare. Larry VandeCreek, D. Min. and Laurel Burton, Th.D., editors. 2001.

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