Pastoral Care 

Top row (L to R): Father Philip Joly, Father Aidan Lacy, Reverend Carlos Betancourt.
Bottom row: (L to R) Sister Betty Frascino, OSF, Reverend Lena Bates, Sister Mary Murphy, OSF 

A Distinction of Care

At St. Mary's Medical Center we recognize all faiths and beliefs in our pastoral approach and believe all spiritual and religious rites and symbols represent positive energy, faith, and hope. This recognition drives the actions our pastoral care staff takes every day.

The activities of our professional Chaplains include diverse interactions with patients and families, professional staff, volunteers, and community members. Our professional, trained Chaplains reach across faith group boundaries.

Chaplains can help with:

  • Grief and loss care
  • Risk screening - identifying individuals whose religious/spiritual conflicts may compromise recovery or satisfactory adjustment
  • Facilitation of spiritual issues related to organ/tissue donation and Advance Directives
  • Crisis intervention/Critical incident stress debriefing
  • Spiritual assessment
  • Communication with caregivers
  • Facilitation of staff communication
  • Conflict resolution among staff members, patients, and family members
  • Referral and linkage to internal and external resources
  • Assistance with decision-making and communication regarding decedent affairs
  • Staff support relative to personal crises or work stress
  • Institutional support during organizational change or difficulty
  • Help St. Mary's meet patient expectations for competent, compassionate spiritual services
  • Provide supportive spiritual care through empathetic listening
  • Serve as members of patient care teams
  • Lead or participate in St. Mary's Tenet Health Care ethics programs
  • Educate the healthcare team and community about the relationship of religious and spiritual issues to institutional services
  • In an age of high-technology medicine, brief hospitalizations, and shorter contact with physicians, Chaplains offer a key opportunity for patients to discuss their personal and spiritual concerns
  • Coordinating with local clergy to provide for specific religious needs
  • Assist with Advanced Directives

St. Mary's Hospital, 1938

St. Mary's Hospital, 1938

Heritage In 1938 St. Mary's was established as a nursing home for the poor in the West Palm Beach area by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany (NY). Within a year after opening the facility, the Sisters realized a greater need existed for more intensive medical treatment and they changed St. Mary's focus to acute hospital care.

Today St. Mary's is a 464-bed acute care hospital that continues to uphold the religious and ethical directives of the Catholic Church and has a full-time pastoral care staff, bringing comfort and support to families of all faith backgrounds.

Contacting Pastoral Care

The Pastoral Care team can be reached by calling 561-882-6343. After office hours, you may leave a message at this number. Messages are retrieved periodically throughout the day and night. Inside the hospital, you can reach the Chaplain on duty by dialing ext. 26343.

When do I contact Pastoral Care?

You can ask for a Chaplain to visit you any time, day or night. During your pre-admission to the hospital, you may request a visit for the day of your surgery. If you are feeling down or discouraged during your hospital stay, a visit with a Chaplain might help put things in perspective. You might want to share in Holy Communion while you are a patient, and a Chaplain can bring it in your hospital room. If you have other concerns, our Chaplains are here for you.

Daily Mass

A Catholic Mass is held in the Old Convent Chapel on the St. Mary's campus at 12 noon Monday-Friday. There is a small meditation chapel on the first floor of the hospital, located near the Interfaith Elevators, that is open 24/7. 

Prayer Requests

Requests for prayer and Mass Intentions may be placed in the Prayer Box located on the wall outside the meditation chapel on the first floor of the hospital located near the Interfaith elevators or by calling 561-882-6343. Requests may be made 24/7/365.

Additional Resources