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Spiritual Care and Education

Chaplains in the Department of Spiritual Care and Education attend to the spiritual and ritual needs of patients, families and staff.  We value the uniqueness of each person’s spiritual path and provide compassionate support to those of all religious traditions and those who are unaffiliated but seeking support.

How to contact us 

A chaplain is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Main number: 617-667-3030

Chaplains' office, West campus: 617-632-8103

For immediate assistance, call the hospital page operator: 617-667-4700 and ask to page the chaplain on call, pager 31069.

Chaplains in the Department of Spiritual Care and Education are in the hospital:

  • 8 a.m. - 7 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday

After hours a chaplain is available for emergencies only. At any hour, the on-call chaplain will triage requests and direct them, when appropriate, to a faith-specific clergyperson (i.e. Catholic priest, rabbi, Imam).

Administration

Rev. Kathleen (Katie) Pakos Rimer, Director, (617) 667-3043, krimer@bidmc.harvard.edu
Norma Elkind, Administrative Assistant, (617) 667-3428, nelkind@bidmc.harvard.edu  

Interfaith Places of Worship (open 24 hours a day) 

  • Dooley Chapel, located on the West Campus in the Deaconess Building: Catholic Mass on Sundays at 12:00pm and meditation on Wednesdays from 1:00pm – 1:30pm.

  • Wolfson Chapel, located on the East Campus in the Feldberg Building: Meditation on Wednesdays from 11:30am – 12:00pm.

  • The official worship spaces at the medical center – the Wolfson chapel on the East campus and the Dooley chapel on the West campus – strive to be spiritually and religiously welcoming. In each chapel, there are tradition-specific items that can facilitate observance (prayer rugs, rosaries, Jewish prayer books).  During important religious holidays, religion-specific symbols can be displayed in the chapels for a limited period of time. 

What Chaplains Do

  • Bedside visits during a hospital stay
  • Conversation and prayer before surgery
  • Meditation and prayer
  • Emotional support for families and friends
  • Deep listening
  • Rituals and Sacraments when requested
  • Worship leadership within the medical center
  • Consultation on religious or ethical questions
  • Referral to a spiritual community, when requested, upon discharge
  • Care for your spirit during your physical healing

When to Call a Chaplain (for patients):

  • When you are anxious about your or your loved one’s condition
  • When you receive bad news
  • When you  need spiritual encouragement
  • When you face difficult decisions
  • When you need assistance maintaining a religious observance or tradition while in the hospital (i.e. dietary needs, fasting, Holy Communion)
  • When you want someone to pray with you
  • When you are struggling with the meaning of your illness
  • When you are grieving a loss

Visiting Clergy

Chaplains in department of Spiritual Care and Education believe a strong partnership with community clergy is crucial for the spiritual care of BID patients. If you have congregants who are hospitalized, please let us know how we might support them while they are here. We also warmly welcome you to visit your congregants, and are happy to subsidize your parking expenses when you visit. 

Proper attire, clergy identification, and parking ticket must be presented at the parking cashier stations when signing out.  Please note that subsidized parking will not be issued for the following:

  • For personal medical appointments of clergy or for visiting family
  • To people without proper identification or professional dress

Parking is a significant expense for the department and we ask for your cooperation.  Any questions  regarding this policy can be referred to Rev.Katie Rimer, Director of Spiritual Care and Education, at 617-667-3043.

Contact Information

Spiritual Care and Education
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Feldberg, 1st Floor
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617-667-3030


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