Spiritual & Religious Care

Share This Page

Spiritual Care

Rooted in Healing and Hope

Spiritual & Religious Care

Spirituality can help you regain and maintain your health and cope with difficult experiences. It can help you find meaning, value and connection, especially during difficult times.*

Visitor Information

As part of gradually lifting visitor restrictions, visits are subject to certain conditions. This helps ensure the safety of everyone at the hospital. Each congregation/parish/community may have one leader visit patients at end-of-life. The designated leader must be a registered spiritual care visitor at Niagara Health.

Please email Bob Bond at Robert.Bond@niagarahealth.on.ca to receive further instructions on the visitation process. The email must include the name of the designated spiritual care visitor from your church/synagogue/mosque/community who will be providing religious care.

Please note: Screening must be completed every time you enter the hospital. The quickest and most efficient way to enter the hospital is by filling out the screening form before your visit and bringing it with you to show the screeners. Download the screening form here.

Spiritual Care staff are integral members of Niagara Health inter-professional teams. They are members of the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC) and full time staff members are registered with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). They work with patients, families, staff and volunteers. You don’t have to be religious to benefit from spiritual care. We strive to support all types of spiritual expression: religious practice, personal relationships, artistic creation, a connection to nature and more.

 

We can help you:

  • Connect with your spiritual resources
  • Find meaning
  • Face anxieties and fears
  • Express feelings in your own way
  • Think through healthcare decisions
  • Participate in prayers or rituals

When to ask for Spiritual Care:

  • In response to a request from a patient, family member, or friend.
  • When faith, spirituality, meaning-making, or all of these together is obviously important.
  • When a patient, loved one, or staff member seeks a religious or spiritual ritual.
  • When a patient, their family members or everyone involved, is struggling with impending surgery, prognosis or diagnosis, death and dying, or significant loss.
  • When a patient or their family’s spirit seems troubled.
  • When the treatment team requires a religious or spiritual assessment of a patient.
  • When a patient is separated from or has few visible supports.
  • When a patient is close to death or has died.
  • When staff seek support when faced with workplace challenges.

Common misconceptions about Spiritual Care

“What if I’m not a religious person?”

You do not need to be religious to benefit from spiritual care. Spirituality is about finding meaning, value, and connection, especially during times of difficulty.

“Will you try to convert me?”

No. Spiritual Care Professionals respect your spiritual and religious beliefs. We are not here to change them.

“Is the Spiritual Care person a volunteer from a church?”

Spiritual Care Professionals are employed by Niagara Health. We are professionally trained to work with people in the hospital. After-hours and on weekends, part-time spiritual care staff are available to assist in urgent situations.

“Is spiritual care only for someone who is dying?”

No. Spiritual Care at Niagara Health is for everyone seeking personal growth or coping with change, illness, or loss.

“Is Spiritual Care available for employees of the hospital?”

Yes. Spiritual Care is available for all patients, families and staff.

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

Clinical Pastoral Education is an experience-based approach to learning  in spiritual care which combines the practice of spiritual care giving with qualified supervision and group reflection. This dynamic and integrative education model assists persons in achieving their full potential in the practice of spiritual care.

The program is for:

  • Healthcare professionals committed to the spiritual aspect of health
  • People who are drawn to spiritual care in a hospital setting
  • Seminary students seeking field education experience
  • Faith community leaders and lay pastoral caregivers seeking further skills and knowledge

The next offering of CPE at Niagara Health is expected in the autumn of 2021.

For more information contact Bob Bond, Robert.Bond@niagarahealth.on.ca , 905-378-4647, ext. 32385.

Information for Visitors Representing Faith Communities

Faith community leaders (ministers, priests, rabbis, imams, elders, etc.) along with lay visitors designated by their faith community are welcomed, encouraged and provided with resources for their work as they care for their faith community members hospitalized within Niagara Health.

Registration of all spiritual care visitors is carried out by the Spiritual and Religious Care (SPRC) Department. Applicants must complete the registration form; note that signing this form indicates agreement with SPRC Standards. Applicants must also provide evidence in print of authorization – for instance (and minimally) a letter on official letterhead stating they are appointed to visit hospitalized congregants.

Once registration form is complete and authorization letter is attained, orientation and photo I.D. will be scheduled. Applicants who will primarily work at the St. Catharines Site please email SpiritualCareRegistration@niagarahealth.on.ca for next steps.

Applicants who will primarily work at other Niagara Health Sites please email Bob Bond, Coordinator of SPRC – Robert.Bond@niagarahealth.on.ca, or at (905) 378-4647 ext. 32385.

Explanation for asking about your religion

When being admitted, you will be asked whether you want your record to list a religion, and secondly a specific church or congregation.

This is for two reasons: foremost, the hospital intends to support and facilitate your religious requirements whenever possible (e.g. dietary, spiritual/ritual, medical). We also support and facilitate the work of your congregation’s visitors in attending to you.

It is, of course, completely within your rights not to declare your religion or church/congregation. Your choice in this matter will be entered, maintained for present/future reference and respected as part of the hospital information used to provide for your care while in hospital.

You may change this information at any time simply by notifying the Admitting Department.

When providing this information, please be as explicit as possible. If you belong to a specific church/congregation, please tell us.

 

*With thanks to the Spiritual Care Department, University Health Network, Toronto, for permission to adapt some of their communications.

To contact someone from Spiritual Care, contact a staff member listed below directly or call the Niagara Health switchboard at 905-378-4647 and ask for Spiritual Care.

Rev. Bob Bond, Coordinator of Spiritual & Religious Care

Robert.Bond@niagarahealth.on.ca

905-378-4647 x32385

Rev. Bob Bond, Coordinator of Spiritual and Religious Care Reverend Bob Bond has been a coordinator of Spiritual and Religious Care with the Welland County General Hospital and then Niagara Health since 1990. He is a husband, father and grandfather. Within the community of Welland, Bob coordinates the Harvest Kitchen program. Bob is a Registered Psychotherapist – Certified Spiritual Care Practitioner and Psycho-Spiritual Therapist. Since 2010, Bob has been an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University, teaching at the Niagara Regional Campus of the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. In April 2018, Bob was recognized with the Verda Rochon Award for Distinguished Service by the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care. Read about the honour here.

Rev. Trish Heidebrecht-Archibald, Staff Chaplain

Trish.Heidebrecht-Archibald@niagarahealth.on.ca

905 378-4647 x43105

Rev. Trish Heidebrecht-Archibald, Staff ChaplainTrish Heidebrecht-Archibald provides spiritual care to in-patients and their families at the St. Catharines Site in all areas other than Mental Health and Oncology. Trish is both a hospital chaplain and a minister in the Presbyterian Church in Canada, and is a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO), and the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC).

Donna Hollands-Hurst, Staff Chaplain

Donna.Hollands-Hurst@niagarahealth.on.ca

905 378-4647 x42103

Donna Hollands-Hurst, Staff Chaplain   Donna Hollands-Hurst is a chaplain who provides spiritual care to patients, families and staff on both Inpatient and outpatient mental health units at the St. Catharines Site. She has been with Niagara Health since 2009. Prior to this, Donna was a member of the Chaplaincy team at Brock University. She also has several years of experience in teaching secondary students and adults (new Canadians). She completed spiritual care training at St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton and received her theological training at Regis College at Toronto School of Theology. She holds Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees. Donna is a Certified Spiritual Care Practitioner with the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC) and has served as Regional Chair of this professional organization. She is also a member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).

Terry Siolkowsky, Staff Chaplain

Terry.Siolkowsky@niagarahealth.on.ca

905 378-4647 x44240

Terry Siolkowsky is a multi-faith chaplain and psychotherapist with Niagara Health since 2019. He can be found at the Niagara Health St. Catharines Site providing spiritual care, psychotherapy/counselling, and crisis support to patients, caregivers, and staff. He primarily supports the Walker Family Cancer Centre, the Mental Health Units, as well as general inpatient medical units. Terry comes to us with a Master of Arts in Counselling and Spirituality from Saint Paul University in Ottawa as well as clinical training and experience from the Saint Paul University Counselling Centre, The Ottawa Hospital Clinical Pastoral Education Program, and the Niagara Health Clinical Pastoral Education Residency. He is currently a member of the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC) and he is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).

Niagara Health System