The diagnosis of cancer often carries with it significant and sometimes overwhelming stress. At such times, it is natural to look to others for support.
The chaplains in the Spiritual Care Department are familiar with, and sensitive to, the issues that accompany illness, and will respect the individual beliefs and preferences of you and your family in dealing with your illness.
Chaplains provide spiritual care to all persons regardless of religious affiliation. You do not have to belong to a faith congregation or even consider yourself religious to request a chaplain. We are ready to visit with you and your loved ones, and hope to be of service to you while you are at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Location and Hours
The Department of Spiritual Care offers many resources to the staff, patients and families who come to Roswell Park. If you need more information, please call 716-845-8051.
The Spiritual Care office is located the first floor of the Hospital in Room 1401. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Religious articles and reading materials are also available. For more information contact 716-845-8051.
If You Would Like a Visit
Chaplains visit inpatients and outpatients Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. A chaplain is also available to visit you on the weekends from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. If you would like to visit with a chaplain, please call extension 8051, or ask your physician, nurse or other member of your Roswell Park health care team to make the request for you.
Chaplains are also available 24 hours a day to respond to the urgent spiritual and emotional needs of patients and families.
Life Recorded Program
Roswell Park offers employees, patients and families an opportunity to share meaningful stories and life experiences through personal recorded interviews through Life Recorded - a project inspired by StoryCorps Legacy. To learn how you can tell your own story through Life Recorded, call 716-845-8051.
Submit a Prayer Request
The diagnosis of cancer impacts patients and their love ones physically, emotionally and spiritually. Often times, people will turn to prayer to help cope with the challenges that a cancer diagnosis brings. Through prayer, our goal as a Spiritual Care Team is to help nurture your spiritual well-being, so that you may find peace, comfort and strength during this time. You may always submit a prayer request to our team.
Your prayer concerns are important to us and that is why each and every prayer request we receive is prayed for by members of the Spiritual Care Team. Be assured, our prayer support is confidential.
Chaplains work with physicians, nurses and other members of the psychosocial oncology team to ensure the total care of patients and their families. They provide spiritual counseling and minister to the spiritual, emotional and psychosocial needs of patients, family members and friends at all stages of the treatment process.
- Protestant and Roman Catholic Chaplains provide sacraments, spiritual counseling and religious literature upon request.
- There are also 37 clergy and religious leaders of different faith traditions who serve as consultants to Roswell Park.
- A community Rabbi and Jewish Chaplain are available to help with rituals and traditions of the Jewish faith.
- One of our Protestant chaplains is bi-lingual and speaks Spanish.
- Lay volunteers and participants in chaplaincy training programs also minister to patients and families under the direct supervision of the staff chaplains.
- Bibles, prayer leaflets, and religious articles are available in the Spiritual Care Office.
Worship Services/Holy Day Observances/Festivals
The “all faith” Meditation and Prayer Room located on the first floor of the hospital (Room 1400) is open 24 hours for patients, family members and friends for meditation and prayer. Weekly services are scheduled as well as special services for a wide variety of religions are scheduled throughout the year. The service schedule for each month can be found posted on the Meditation and Prayer Room door. You can also call the office of Spiritual Care at 716-845-8051 for information.
- Roman Catholic Mass: Monday and Wednesday 12:00 noon
- Muslim Prayer: Friday 1:30 pm or when the Meditation and Prayer Room is available
- Prayer and Worship Service: Thursday 12:00 noon
- Protestant Communion: First Sunday of the month.
- Holy Days/Observances/Festivals for different religions as appropriate
- Bedside Services are available upon request.
The Chaplains will do all they can to help patients and their family members observe religious practices during a hospital stay.
- Rev. Melody Rutherford MDiv
- Joe Blatz MAPM
- Rev. Dr. Cathy Hall Stengel, M.Div, D.Min
Spiritual Care Resources
The Resource Center for Patients and Families at Roswell Park offers many books and information. They can assist with learning more about spirituality and cancer.
The Breast and GYN Resource Center is located on the second floor of the Hospital and offers resources and information on breast health and disease. For additonal information call 716-845-4432.
What If…You’re Angry With God? Dr. Michele Novotni, a licensed psychologist in private practice at the Wayne Counseling Center, PA, and CEO of the National Attention Deficit Disorder Association presented a conference in 2004 at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center titled, What If…You’re Angry With God? The following topics were included in the conference:
- Identifying the Roots of Anger With God
- Biblical Models of Anger Management – The Problem of Evil
- Job and Suffering
The conference is available on a set of four audio CDs for $20/set. To obtain your copy, contact Spiritual Care at 716-845-8051.