The Chaplains of Georgetown Hospital

One of the many ways the Office of Mission and Ministry serves the greater Washington DC area is with the works of the chaplains of MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Since 2000, MedStar Health and Georgetown University has partnered to provide medical services by caring for the whole person in the tradition of Cura Personalis. This tenet, along with former Superior General of the Society of Jesus Pedro Arrupe’s challenge to be
“Women and Men for Others”, forms the foundation of the ministry of the Department of Mission and Pastoral Care.

The department has a permanent staff of seven trained chaplains serving the various pastoral needs of the patients, visitors, and staff of the hospital. Each chaplain has an specific area of responsibility, such as oncology chaplain, yet the skills of empathy, active listening, and being a pastoral presence are the tools all the chaplains use at the service of the person he or she is ministering to. The chaplains have entered the lives of many people to journey with them as the challenges of illness confront them. This journey has taken the chaplain beyond the walls of the hospital to continue their mission at the invitation of the patient or family member. Arrupe’s called to be “Women and Men for Others” is lived by the chaplains in the exercise of their pastoral ministry. Every member of the department understands they contribute to the care of the whole person by responding respectfully to all requests making cura personalis a living and visible way of proceeding.

Clinical Pastoral Education is another service offered by the Department of Mission and Pastoral Care. Each year, up to 20 students, many are seminarians

Rev. Pedro Arrupe S.J.

Rev. Pedro Arrupe S.J.

from different traditions, come to learn the skills of chaplaincy. The students bring their traditions and culture creating opportunities for all to explore interreligious understanding and the beautiful diversity of culture. As staff and student learn together, both provide ministry and service to a diverse hospital community. Each experience is gift – the need of a stranger is heard and the chaplain is called all for the Greater Glory of God (Ad Majorem Deo Gloriam).

Deacon Thomas J. DevaneyDirector of Mission and Pastoral Care (Georgetown University Hospital)

Mission and Ministry