About Spiritual Care and Education

About Chaplains at BIDMC

Chaplains provide spiritual care to patients and their families.

Our Mission

Nurturing spiritual well-being and wholeness in those facing illness, change, and the unknown.

Our Values

  1. Community: We emphasize relationship-building with patients and their loved ones, within our department, and across departments. We collaborate, embracing opportunities to work together to alleviate suffering.
  2. Compassion: At the center of our work is open-hearted listening, seeking to understand others’ feelings and concerns, and bearing witness to the joys and struggles of patients, their loved ones, and staff.
  3. Respect: We strive to honor the beliefs, cultures, and worldviews of those we serve, offering our support with appropriate humility. We recognize the inherent dignity of all and advocate for the religious and cultural needs of patients, their loved ones, and staff. When we fall short, we endeavor to repair relationships and restore respect.
  4. Growth: We nurture an attitude of curiosity and openness to learning from everyone we meet and every new situation we encounter. We are passionate about teaching and committed to continuous professional growth, staying informed about the latest research, writing, and best practices in our field.
  5. Equity: We recognize the reality of systemic oppression and the disparity of outcomes in the healthcare system. We seek to uncover our own implicit biases and are committed to ensuring that members of marginalized populations receive excellent spiritual care.

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 at 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:

  • 8:00 am – 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday
  • 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, 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 (e.g. Catholic priest, rabbi, Imam).

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)

Call a chaplain when you:

  • Are anxious about your or your loved one’s condition
  • Receive bad news
  • Need spiritual encouragement
  • Face difficult decisions
  • Need assistance maintaining a religious observance or tradition while in the hospital (e.g. dietary needs, fasting, Holy Communion)
  • Want someone to pray with you
  • Are struggling with the meaning of your illness
  • Are grieving a loss