Pastoral Care at Touro

Religious support & resources

In keeping with Touro Infirmary’s commitment to the concept of total patient care, chaplains work as members of the health care team for the well-being of the whole person. The pastoral care staff is also available to hospital personnel for either work-related or personal concerns.

Chaplains work to meet the non-medical needs of patients by offering spiritual and emotional support, encouragement, comfort, consolation, and prayer. The Chaplain is a professional caregiver who understands that healing is spiritual, emotional, social, and physical.

Chaplains are:

  • Pastoral: They provide spiritual and emotional support with sensitivity and respect for an individual’s convictions and beliefs.
  • Professional: They are a vital member of the health care team with specialized training and certification.
  • Personal: They contribute to a holistic style of healthcare that honors the needs of body, mind, and spirit.

The Chaplain’s listening skills are framed in a theological background, stressing the ministry of presence and acceptance. The Chaplain’s role, therefore, is not necessarily a problem-solving one, but rather one of helping patients integrate what is happening to them in their illness with their understanding of their relationship to God and others. Religious resources, such as prayer, scripture, and/or sacraments are made available to patients on a regular basis.

Touro’s pastoral services include:

  • A chaplain is available to persons of all faiths and can assist in contacting your clergy representatives.
  • Catholic chaplaincy services provide sacramental as well as pastoral ministries. Volunteer lay Eucharistic ministers provide communion to patients who are listed on admission as Catholic. A priest is in-house or on-call every day.
  • Students in clinical pastoral training may be assigned to a particular area of the hospital.
  • Worship services are offered on various occasions.
  • The Touro chapel, located on the third floor, is a quiet, sacred space available at all times to staff, visitors, and patients.
  • Literature providing support, encouragement, and education related to the spiritual component of healthcare is available just outside the chapel. Donations are welcome though not required for written materials.

When to notify a chaplain:

  • At times of approaching death or recent death of a loved one.
  • In times of crisis (acute illness, trauma, or poor prognosis).
  • When you observe someone or feel yourself to be in need of pastoral care (stressful day, ongoing tearfulness, little family support, etc.).
  • When facing significant loss or change.
  • In times of ethical dilemma and decision (DNR status, organ donation)
  • To prepare, officiate or participate in weddings, funerals, memorial services, baptism, bar/bat mitzvahs, communion.
  • To offer prayer for a specific need or occasion.
  • To provide in-service education or facilitate support groups, focusing on spiritual and/or bereavement resources for healing, recovery and renewal.
  • To honor the sacredness of daily life, especially the joys and challenges of healthcare providing and receiving. To request a blessing for another or yourself, for a new work, home, ministry, child or simply to remember we are beloved.

Chaplain availability

A chaplain is in-house or on-call Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. The chaplain is available to persons of all faiths and can assist in contacting your clergy representatives.

Our Catholic chaplaincy team includes:

The ecumenical chapel is available 24/7 as a quiet place of prayer and meditation for all patients, families, and staff. To request a chaplain, contact the in-house operator at 504.897.7011, or dial 0 if calling from within the hospital.

Interfaith pastoral services are provided by The McFarland Institute and Catholic chaplaincy services are provided by the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

The Pastoral Care Department is located on the third floor across from the chapel.