• 1700 SW 7th Street, Topeka, Kansas 66606-1690
  • 785-295-8000

Chaplains and Spiritual Care

Holdinghands250wChaplains act as a source of broad-based spirituality and are available to assess your needs, learn what sustains you and what can help you and your loved ones as you cope with fear, loneliness, grief, health issues, relationship difficulties or other life challenges. Chaplains can also be with you as you communicate with other members of your care team. 

Our chaplains are professionally trained to offer spiritual and emotional support to you and your family. A chaplain is part of a larger care team, accompanying those in need of support, regardless of their faith tradition.

A Visit from a Chaplain

During a visit, the chaplain may ask about you, your story, and what matters most to you. Our chaplains may also ask how important spirituality is to you and which rituals and prayers you find meaningful. Like physicians and nurses, chaplains try to learn who you are and about your situation so they can provide the best care possible.

Contacting a Chaplain

Our chaplains strive to provide spiritual support throughout our care site, working with other caregivers to support you and your loved ones. To contact a chaplain, ask your nurse or other care provider.

Office location: Third floor.

Phone: 785-295-8280.

Advance Care Planning

Chaplains can also help you understand and facilitate conversations about Advance Care Planning, making sure someone can speak for you if you cannot speak for yourself. It will be helpful to your loved ones and to your care team to know more about what kinds of care you want – and don’t want – in case you are ever unable to make those decisions. Click here to learn more about Advance Care Planning.

Palliative Care

Many chaplains are also part of or work closely with our interdisciplinary palliative care teams. Palliative care is a medical specialty and philosophy of care, often for chronically ill patients, who need support while making complex decisions. A palliative care team, which frequently includes a physician, a nurse, a social worker and a chaplain, helps patients and families focus on the relief of pain and symptoms. 

Bereavement Support

Many people face difficult life changes and loss, and we can offer support during these challenging times. Please call our care sites or reach out to our chaplains for more information about bereavement support. Let us be a source of comfort in your time of need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Request Spiritual Care?  
Everyone! Spiritual care is available to anyone who receives care through St. Francis Health Center, anyone who has family who is receiving care, or any member of St. Francis Health Center staff. Spiritual care is not limited to patients only.  

When should I call for Spiritual Care?
Anytime! Chaplains can be called if you are celebrating a new life, if you feel confused or anxious, if you are asking “why?”, if you have received difficult news, if you are mourning, if you are having surgery, if you wish to receive a Sacrament, if you want a prayer partner, if you would like to contact your spiritual leader, if you have experienced the death of a loved one, if you have receive a difficult diagnosis, if you are celebrating a clear diagnosis, or if you want support and strength.  Anytime you need support is an appropriate time to call.

Do I have to be Catholic to receive spiritual care services?
Absolutely not! While St. Francis Health is a Catholic hospital, we respect the spirituality of all individuals who enter the hospital and clinics. The services offered by the spiritual care department are not limited to Catholic services alone. We offer a broad range of services from providing a listening ear to practicing Catholic Sacraments. We have something to offer everyone!

Who will answer my Spiritual Care request? 
We have three wonderful full-time chaplains at St. Francis Health. When you request spiritual care, a chaplain from our spiritual care team will greet you to discuss any needs you may have. Simply let your medical team know that you would like a visit from a chaplain. 

“I am not particularly spiritual; can I still talk to a chaplain?”  
Of course! Along with offering spiritual support, our chaplains are wonderful at listening. If you would simply like a listening ear, our chaplains can provide comforting support.

What services does Spiritual Care offer?  
The spiritual care team at St. Francis Health offers a wide range of services. They serve by:

  • Listening
  • Offering prayers
  • Provide devotional and prayer materials
  • Providing support during moments of Crisis
  • Providing support on a routine basis
  • Contacting your local clergy at your request
  • Providing Advance Directive consultation
  • Giving support to the staff
  • Participating in ethics consultations
  • Providing worship services
  • Providing Sacraments and Rituals (including Catholic Sacraments such as Baptisms, Communion, Reconciliation, and Anointing of the Sick; Rituals for non-Catholic patients can be requested as well.)

What if I am a patient in one of the clinics, can I still receive spiritual care?  
At St. Francis Health, we understand that healthcare happens outside the walls of the hospital. If you are a patient in one of our clinics, you are welcome to utilize the services offered through the spiritual care department. We can provide resources and support in the event of a difficult diagnosis or need.