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CROSSROADS – Fall 2019 – Spiritual Care

Commitment to Compassionate Care

Pastoral care is of prime importance at Calvary Hospital and represents our commitment to compassionate care for the “whole” person. The Hospital has a staff of 30 chaplains, who represent the three major faith traditions and many others, to care for our inpatients and home hospice patients. Calvary Hospital has affiliations with chaplains of all faiths, such as Buddhism and Islam, who can be called upon as needed to minister to our patients. We also have several Spanish-speaking chaplains on staff. Many of our chaplains are Board-certified and have participated in Clinical Pastoral Education.

Calvary Hospital is very respectful of all wishes regarding pastoral care, including opt-outs. We understand that spirituality and religion are extremely personal, and also know that spirituality may take on a special importance for people facing the end of life. Our chaplains can also be helpful to those who may have been alienated from their faith tradition but seek some measure of reconnection at the end of life.

Pastoral Care Providers are in the Hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our staff is multilingual. We are available to serve you in many languages including but not limited to Spanish, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Italian. Other languages are available through a translation service.

For more information, please call 718-518-2000, ext. 2173.


Calvary Hospital’s Bronx campus has a beautiful interfaith chapel, which is always open for quiet reflection and prayer. We also have our own Ark and Torah for use in our Jewish services. Mass is celebrated every day, and there is a Jewish service every Friday to welcome the Sabbath. All religious programs and services are available throughout the day on the televisions in each patient’s room, on Channel 20.

We offer a wide variety of religious practices such as the sharing of appropriate liturgy, scripture, sacrament, prayer and worship. We are available for pastoral counseling and quiet listening—hearing, seeing, being—in your moments of deepest feeling or concerns of the heart. In sharing and understanding your spiritual issues, our Chaplains offer to help you come to greater peace with yourself, with others and with your God.

Jewish Patients

Calvary care for Jewish patients and families includes comprehensive services such as: pastoral care by the Hospital’s two staff rabbis; end-of-life counseling in accordance with Jewish tradition; kosher meals and cholov yisroel dairy products; kosher food pantry with separate microwave ovens for meat and dairy, refrigerator and sink; Shabbat lounge; Shabbat observance and celebration of major Jewish holidays.  Everything is done to make our Jewish patients and visitors feel as comfortable as possible during their stay at Calvary.

In 2012, Calvary Hospital and Yeshiva University’s affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) announced a collaboration that will better serve the needs of observant Jewish families in the metropolitan area who need information and access to excellent end-of-life care.

  • To learn more about the collaboration, please click here.
  • To view the Jewish brochure, please click here.

In July 2015, Calvary embarked on the restoration of a sacred Torah scroll housed at the Hospital.  To learn more or make a gift, please click here to see the brochure on this special initiative.

Clinical Pastoral Education

Calvary is the country’s only fully accredited acute care hospital dedicated to providing palliative and end-of-life care for adult patients suffering from advanced cancer and other serious illnesses. Calvary’s 20-week, 400-hour Clinical Pastoral Education program is the country’s only one exclusively focused on giving students hands-on experience solely with terminally ill patients in a hospital and home hospice setting. Each week, students attend a 5-hour group class and complete 15 hours of clinical work with current Calvary inpatients and @Home/Hospice patients. They are under the supervision of Rev. Carlos Alejandro, a certified supervisor of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE).

The Calvary CPE program provides pastoral care training for interfaith, multicultural clergy and lay persons who wish to become certified as professional chaplains. The training is also available to healthcare professionals exploring ways of integrating spirituality into their care of patients and their loved ones. Calvary offers two accelerated, part-time units a year and a full-time summer unit.

Calvary Hospital’s CPE program offers Level I, II CPE under the standards of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. It is accredited by ACPE, the industry’s leading professional organization.

For further information about Clinical Pastoral Education at Calvary please call 718-518-2000, ext. 2666.

Bereavement Services

Our continuing Pastoral Care includes Memorial Services, Bereavement Support Groups, individual counseling and “Precious Moments,” an after-school program for grieving children ages 6-11. Calvary Hospital is also a center for bereavement education for the community and clinicians. For information, call the Director of Bereavement Services, or ask your Pastoral Care Provider or Social Worker.

For further information about Bereavement Support, please call 718-518-2000, ext. 2125.

Pastoral Care Providers are in the Hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our staff is multilingual. We are available to serve you in many languages including but not limited to Spanish, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Italian. Other languages are available through a translation service.

For more information, please call:

718-518-2000, ext. 2173

T.A. John
Lead Chaplain
You have any number of patients who need your help and your presence – unconditional, compassionate presence which is non-judgmental. They need you there with them as they struggle to cope with their lives and their pains and their struggles as well as their joys. Working with patients as well as the families has helped me to be a better person by being aware of what’s going on within me as I meet with them. It has helped me to be more forgiving, more giving, and more generous with my time.