610-378-2000 610-378-2000

About Spiritual Care

At Penn State Health St. Joseph, we are committed to caring for the whole person, body, mind, and spirit. Being hospitalized and dealing with illness can be an extremely challenging time. Many people find that talking with a chaplain can help during this period. Chaplains with Spiritual Care Services provide spiritual and emotional support to patients, families, friends and staff members at our medical center as they strive to help use individuals’ spiritual beliefs as a resource for healing.

We are available to support all our patients regardless of beliefs and religious affiliation. Patients do not need to be affiliated with a congregation or faith community to call a chaplain. However, if you do belong to a faith community, we can contact your clergy if you give us permission.

Our chaplains provide compassionate support and crisis counseling in the middle of stressful situations. Patients, families and staff are encouraged to call a chaplain when experiencing fear, anger, loneliness, helplessness, anxiety, grief or loss, or when they just need someone to talk to. They are also are available for times of celebration, prayer and rituals.

Spiritual Care Services

Cenerazzo Chapel at Bern Campus

The Cenerazzo Chapel at Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center is a welcoming location for meditation, prayer, or Mass. The Chapel is open 24/7. Daily Mass is held Monday-Friday @ 11:30 or can be viewed on an in-room television.

Prayerful Healing Touch

Prayerful Healing Touch (PHT) is a service to patients and staff that has been offered at the hospital for several years. PHT is known to produce a state of deep relaxation which may facilitate healing at every level. The body has its own natural ability to heal itself, utilizing the healing power of God, who sustains all life.

PHT utilizes the concept “laying-on of hands”. The practitioner may be a medical professional or someone who has obtained special PHT training. The hands of the practitioners are gently placed on or above various areas of the body, especially areas that may be causing pain or discomfort. It can be helpful for everyone, regardless of age or health status.

PHT is not associated with any religion. One need only be open and willing to receive this comfort and support. Currently, volunteers are offering PHT to patients and staff on the Medical/Surgical floors, Maternity, NICU, and the Infusion Room. To request a volunteer or address any need for Spiritual Support, staff should contact the Spiritual Care Department at (610) 378-2297.

Bereavement Support Group

The Bereavement Support Group is for anyone experiencing grief due to the death of a loved one. Focusing on aspects of the grieving process, the support group will assist you in understanding how to cope with grief and how to begin turning your mourning into cherished memories of your loved one. The meetings are offered to the public at no charge. If you are interested in the meetings, please contact Sister Rose Dvorak in the Spiritual Care office at Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center, 610-378-2297 610-378-2297.

Meeting time: Wednesday evenings, 7:00 to 8:30 pm, at Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center, Bern Campus. The bereavement support group meets once a week for seven weeks. There are three sessions offered throughout the year. January-February, May – June, September – October.

Download the Bereavement Support Group Brochure for 2017

For Catholic Patients

Eucharistic ministers bring the Sacrament of Holy Communion to Catholic patients who desire to receive it. A priest is available under normal conditions to offer the Sacrament of the Sick.

Other Spiritual Care services include:

  • Prayer
  • Supportive listening
  • Religious/faith resources, i.e prayer, scripture, literature
  • Guided meditation and relaxation for relief from emotional and physical pain
  • Spiritual and emotional support in times of stress
  • Spiritual assessment and interventions for healing

Requesting Spiritual Care

If you would like to talk with someone about your spiritual needs or resources, or simply connect with someone who is ready to listen to your concerns with empathy and support, please contact our office at 610-378-2297 610-378-2297.

If you are a patient, or are visiting with a loved one in the hospital, please feel free to ask your nurse to page us. We are staffed 24/7.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Kurt Danga-Storm
Director of Spiritual Care
610-378-2535 610-378-2535 or 610-378-2297 610-378-2297
KDangaStorm@pennstatehealth.psu.edu