Finding Comfort in Spirituality

Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 9:44am
Director of Pastoral Care

Cancer is a life-altering experience. The body, mind and spirit undergo a great deal of stress that can raise questions about the future and human existence — What is the meaning of life? Why are we here?

For many patients, faith and religion provide a foundation and perspective that helps answer life’s most difficult questions. This foundation can also enhance quality of life and bring meaning to an otherwise scary and uncertain time. The search for inner peace is a common occurrence after a cancer diagnosis, and the Pastoral Care team at Roswell Park is here to support you on this journey. 

Spiritual practices, like prayer, become powerful tools when dealing with cancer.Sometimes patients worry that they don’t know how to pray. Prayer is simply opening your heart and saying what’s on your mind. These rituals can help you adjust to the effects of treatment and directly impact your well-being. Some benefits include:

  • Increased hope and optimism
  • Freedom from regret
  • Higher satisfaction with life
  • Decreased anxiety, depression and anger
  • Decreased feelings of loneliness

We meet all patients upon their admission to Roswell Park to perform a spiritual assessment. After this initial assessment, we become patient directed. We provide spiritual guidance that suits individual needs, regardless of faith, culture or religion. We help you maintain hope and a positive outlook on life while you continue to fight cancer.

Our chaplains are trained to visit patients of all faiths. However, if you would like to speak with someone outside of our group, we've developed a large network of area clergy to help meet these needs.

Our Pastoral Care office is located on the first floor of Roswell Park Cancer Institute. There is someone in the office from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and we are on-call 24 hours a day for spiritual emergencies. If you have questions, please call the office at 716-845-8051. If it is after hours, please call the switchboard at 716-845-2300 and the on-call chaplain will be paged.

We also have a chapel located next to our office. It is a place where you and your loved ones can pray whenever you choose. The chapel also offers a variety of services, which are posted on the chapel doors.