Spiritual & Religious Care
Our Spiritual and Religious Care team is an integral part of the healthcare team, providing spiritual care to patients, families, and staff of all faith backgrounds 24/7, throughout the hospital.
The role of the chaplain is to relate to patients, family, staff or other partners-in-care, as a whole person; focusing particularly on spiritual or religious needs.
Spiritual care affirms the inherent dignity and value of all persons, and respects different spiritual perspectives and practices — which may, or may not be rooted in a religious tradition.
What we do
Spiritual care professionals are healthcare providers who help people:
- to (re)discover meaning and significance in times of illness, crisis and loss
- through mindful and heart-felt listening
- by assisting to identify and access inner resources for coping
- by providing end-of-life and bereavement support
- by providing guidance and support through challenging ethical and moral decision-making processses
- by facilitating connections between patients, families or staff and spiritual leaders from diverse religious communities
- through mediation support in situations of conflict
- by leading and facilitating ceremonies, rites of passage, religious rituals, meditation and prayer
The on-call chaplain is available 24 hours a day by request through a nurse or by dialing 416-480-4244 and asking to speak to the on-call chaplain.
We help you to access religious support from diverse faith communities.
Sacramental Ministry (Bayview campus)
- Bedside Communion is available every Sunday to Roman Catholic patients and upon request to patients of other Christian traditions.
- Roman Catholic patients may receive the Sacrament of the Sick and bedside Holy Communion on weekdays, upon request.
- Requests should be made at the Spiritual and Religious Care Office at 416-480-4421 or through a nurse.
Why it matters
- One to two thirds of patients in acute care want to receive spiritual care.
- Religion and spirituality are often cited as major sources of support and coping.
- Spiritual care can support increased health and shorten recovery periods.
- Patients reported their spiritual wellbeing is linked to their overall quality of life.
- Spiritual Care enhances patient connection with community support.
- Staff feel directly and indirectly supported by the presence of a chaplain on the unit, thus reducing compassion fatigue.
Chapel, Synagogue and Muslim Prayer Room (Bayview campus)
- The Chapel, located on the ground floor in E-wing, is always open as a centre for prayer and worship to patients, visitors and staff of all religious traditions.
- Connected to the main Chapel is the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. These areas are available for prayer 24 hours a day.
- The Synagogue, on the ground floor in E-wing beside the Chapel, is open 24 hours a day and has a large number of books and resources on Judaism available. The Synagogue also has electric Sabbath candles available for patients to use in their rooms. Kosher meals are available upon request. The hospital Rabbi may be contacted through the Spiritual and Religious Care Office, and the Synagogue may be contacted at 416-480-6100 ext. 3552.
- The Muslim prayer room, on the ground floor in E-wing across from the Synagogue, holds prayer everyday and is always open. There is also a facility next to the prayer room which is dedicated to the performing of Wudu (Ablution).
Worship services (Bayview campus)
- Interdenominational Christian service: 10 a.m. in the chapel
- Roman Catholic Mass: 11:15 a.m. in the K Ground Annex
- Special services are offered on appropriate religious feast days and occasions
- Daily prayers are held in the Muslim Prayer Room
- Jummah Prayers are also held every Friday beginning at 1:30 p.m. The location of the Jummah Prayers is posted in the Muslim Prayer room.
- Service for Veterans: Thursdays 11 a.m. in K-wing
- Roman Catholic Mass: Monday to Friday, 12:30 p.m. in the main chapel
Memorial services (Bayview campus)
- Hospital-wide memorial services for patients who have died while at Sunnybrook are held quarterly. Memorial services for veterans are held annually.
- Please contact the Spiritual and Religious Care Office at 416-480-4421 for more information.
As part of a teaching hospital, fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Spiritual and Religious Care offers Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) under the auspices of the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care (CASC). For course details go to the CPE website or contact CPE Supervisor Rev. Anke Flohr at 416-480-6722.