Pastoral Care Overview

"Directed to the spiritual needs that are often appreciated more deeply during times of illness, pastoral care is an integral part of Catholic health care."
    — Part II Introduction, Ethical and Religious Directives

Inspired by the essentiality of pastoral care, CHA stays abreast of the changing landscape of health care and identifies challenges and opportunities for delivering spiritual care in new and creative ways. Catholic health care is committed to providing holistic care in whatever setting care is being delivered. Working through its Pastoral Care Advisory Committee and collaboratively with board certifying groups, CHA is committed to integrated spiritual care and robust staffing and certification of chaplaincy. For more information about pastoral care activities, please contact Dennis Gonzales, Ph.D., Senior Director, Mission Innovation & Integration.

Spiritual Care Week

Oct. 24 – 30, 2021

Pastoral Care Week gives opportunities for organizations and institutions of all kinds and types to recognize the spiritual caregivers in their midst and the ministry which the caregivers provide.

Coronavirus Resources Available

CHA has curated a Coronavirus page with information, news and resources across multiple focus areas.
Access the COVID-19 page

Specific to Pastoral Care, CHA has multiple resources offering guidance on Sacraments:
Guidelines for Sacramental Celebrations
Created with the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, these guidelines offer practical ways to ensure the safe delivery of compassionate pastoral care, the appropriate provision of sacraments and safe chapel spaces for caregivers, patients and families.

Reminder of the Fundamentals for the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick
Questions and Answers Regarding Sacramental Practice during the COVID-19 Pandemic
These documents provide basic information on the Sacrament of Anointing from Canon Law and the Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum, as well as the March 20, 2020, Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary on Plenary Indulgences. There is also a practical Q and A document to help guide the practice of chaplains in these areas. Both of these documents were reviewed and approved by the USCCB Office of Divine Worship.

Access all Pastoral Care in COVID resources

Spiritual care is not unique to Catholic hospitals and nursing homes, but it is integral to their identity. Catholic teaching lifts the importance of honoring the whole person — both body and spirit — seeing the two as integrally connected. It would be impossible for us to offer Catholic health care without dedicating colleagues to spiritual care. They go by many different names — chaplains, pastoral caregivers, spiritual companions and more. Most are professionals who've prepared for their ministry with years of study and certification. Others are generous volunteers from the local community. All help us to fulfill our mission in an explicit way. And today we give thanks for their presence in our midst.

— Excerpted from A Prayer for Spiritual Caregivers

Upcoming Events

Be sure to check our Calendar of Events for a full listing of upcoming events.