Spiritual Care & Education
The Department of Spiritual Care and Values Integration at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital is committed to providing spiritual care to our patients, families, staff, and community, which respects and protects the rights of each person to embrace and practice his/her faith. The Department serves an integral role in providing holistic, interdisciplinary care, and is recognized as the foundation for the hospital’s spiritual environment of caring. Regardless of your beliefs and values, we strive to acknowledge and provide the support you desire to address your spiritual concerns and needs.
Our staff chaplains and spiritual care volunteers offer 24-hour, 7-days a week spiritual support and resources. They provide a compassionate listening presence at times of physical, emotional, and spiritual distress. Through requests, referrals, and regular rounds, they offer prayer, sacraments, and spiritual resources and services, including communication with and support of your own spiritual leader. Our chaplains and spiritual care volunteers serve as your advocates on the interdisciplinary medical team providing your care.
Bibles (Spanish and English), rosaries, prayer cards, devotional booklets, and other spiritual texts are available from the chaplains and spiritual care volunteers, and in some waiting areas.
Prayers are offered over the hospital-wide PA system in the morning and evening of each day.
End-of-Life Bereavement Care
Chaplains offer end-of-life care and grief support for families and friends. A service of remembrance is held in the Hospital chapel every six-months for all patients whose life has ended in the previous 12-months.
Biomedical Ethics Issues
Chaplains are available to help patients and families with advance care planning, including education and completion of advance directives (directive to physicians and medical power of attorney). Chaplains often provide ethical and spiritual guidance to patients, families, and staff on other sensitive and challenging issues, such as Do-Not-Resuscitate orders and use of blood products.
The Hospital Chapel is located in the main entrance lobby (off St. John Drive), and is always open for prayer and meditation. Catholic Mass is celebrated in the Chapel each weekday at 11:30 a.m. All services in the Chapel are broadcast live on channel 16 in every patient's room.
Book of Prayers
A bound journal titled the Book of Prayers is available in the Chapel for patients, family members, and staff to write prayers and register requests for prayer intercessions.
Community Educational Events
The Department of Spiritual Care and Values Integration offer periodic on-campus and off-campus educational events for spiritual leaders in the community. Recent events include: “Active Shooters in Sacred Space”; “Practical Advice for Spiritual Leaders – Adult Addiction, Adult Dementia, and Adolescent Addiction.” Chaplains often meet with church pastoral care or outreach teams to provide training on advance care planning, spiritual care needs of oncology patients, etc.
The quickest and most effective way to request the assistance of a chaplain or spiritual care volunteer is to ask the nurse who is providing care for you or your loved one. During regular business hours, you may also call call the Department of Spiritual Care & Values Integration at 281.523.2599. For direct communication with a chaplain, please see the chaplain profiles below.
Chaplain Richard (Dick) T. Maddox, MDiv, BCC, Director of Spiritual Care and Values Integration
“Patient, families, and new staff often tell me that there is an unmistakable, prevailing sense of the sacred and profound at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital. Indeed, our Vision Statement projects our intent through our words and actions ‘to providing every patient with personalized care in a spiritual and healing environment.’ None of us take for granted the opportunity we have been given by God to respect and love others through our care and presence. And we celebrate every smile, every tear, every thought that we are honored to witness in our patients and families, for we know that such expressions are life-giving and reflective of the wholeness and holiness God destined for all our lives.”
Direct Voice Mail Telephone Number: 281.523.2259
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ecclesiastical Endorsement: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Ordination: August 23, 1992
Linda Tolon, MDiv, Chaplain
“Our staff at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital is deeply committed to providing quality care to our patients and their families within a spiritual environment that respects the uniqueness of each person as a beloved child of God. All areas of the hospital allow the beauty of nature in, reminding all that this is a place of comfort, hope, and healing for the mind and spirit, as well as the body. I am impressed every day by the many expressions of love and hospitality being extended to all.”
Direct Voice Mail Telephone Number: 281.523.2500
Email address: Ltolon@houstonmethodist.org
Ecclesiastical Endorsement: United Methodist Church
Ordination: May 26, 2009
Spiritual care volunteers at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital are from a variety of religious traditions, and serve either as Eucharistic Spiritual Care Volunteers or Ecumenical Spiritual Care Volunteers. The Eucharistic Volunteers are primarily charged with providing Holy Communion to Catholic patients, along with addressing basic spiritual care needs. Ecumenical Volunteers visit patients without regard for religious/spiritual preference, and provide basic spiritual care support. The Spiritual Care Volunteer Staffing Plan for HMSTJ provides for 26 Volunteers. They are screened and vetted by the Hospital Volunteers Department staff, and are required to attend initial and annual follow-up training administered by the Hospital chaplains.