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Pastoral Care at Sacred Heart Health System

We believe providing quality, compassionate spiritual care is foundational to treating the whole person; body, mind and spirit. As a Catholic health ministry, we are committed to carrying out the healing ministry of Jesus. We view pastoral care as fundamental to our identity and a tangible expression of our call to be attentive to the spiritual needs of our neighbor, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable.

What is a chaplain?

Chaplains are specially trained members of the healthcare team designated to respond to spiritual needs. Chaplains connect with the people they meet and bring a sense of calm among chaos, attempting to create an environment of trust and peace in painful situations.

Professional chaplains, though personally rooted in a particular denomination, are knowledgeable and respectful of different religions and cultural nuances. Providing ministry to all persons, chaplains draw upon the belief system and/or unique spiritual resources of each person they encounter. We believe each patient has a right to have his or her cultural, spiritual and personal values, beliefs, and preferences respected.

What do chaplains do?

As integral members of a patientís interdisciplinary care team, chaplains often are called upon to provide spiritual comfort and guidance to patients and their families. Chaplains help to create a culture that supports spiritually centered, holistic care for patients, as well as for our associates and physicians. Working collaboratively with hospital staff, local clergy and community volunteers, chaplains seek to meet the spiritual needs of individuals and the organization.

Some of the ministries provided by our chaplains include:

Spiritual Counseling- Chaplains are called on to help patients and their families deal with spiritual issues that may arise or become felt more acutely during illness. They can help patients and families wrestle with questions of meaning, as well as feelings of powerlessness, pain, loneliness and isolation. Chaplains also support our hospital associates during spiritually and emotionally difficult times.

Prayer - Prayer is a major component of our pastoral care and spiritual comfort. We pray with patients and their families during our visits when they request it, which most do. We try to pray in a manner consistent with the religion of the patient, and always respect whatever religious or spiritual beliefs, or lack thereof, the individual possesses.

Support in Making Healthcare Decisions - Chaplainsí expertise enables patients to surface deeper concerns and articulate healthcare goals. Chaplains facilitate discussions, resulting in more appropriate and informed healthcare choices that honor the patientís values - particularly with ethical or end-of-life issues. Helping patients communicate these choices to family and healthcare teams empowers the patient and limits futile treatment. Chaplains can explain advance directive options and can provide the necessary forms to make the patientís wishes known.

Patient/Family Ministry: Chaplains are trained in assessing and working with diverse family dynamics and can provide spiritual and emotional support for our patientsí families in times of crisis.

End-of-Life Care: Chaplains can assist with ethical decisions surrounding end-of-life care, palliative care, and also provide religious rites and memorial services for patients.

Special Services: our Pastoral Care team provides regular mass/worship services, as well as special sacraments, prayer services, patient memorial services upon request.

Support Groups: Support groups for grief, bereavement support and chronic illness meet periodically. Call our office for dates and locations for these groups.

How to contact a chaplain

Sacred Heart has chaplains available around the clock, seven days a week. As an inpatient, just tell a member of your healthcare team that you wish to speak to a chaplain, or dial the hospital operator to ask for Pastoral Care (while in any of our hospitals, just dial ď0.Ē) From outside the hospital, contact us at the following numbers:

  • Sacred Heart Hospital, Pensacola:
    850-416-7928 (Pastoral Care Office) or 850-416-7000 (Hospital Operator)
  • Sacred Heart on the Emerald Coast, Miramar Beach:
    850-278-3639 (Pastoral Care Office) or 850-278-3000 (Hospital Operator)
  • Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf, Port St. Joe
    850-229-5799 (Pastoral Care Office) or 850-229-5600 (Hospital Operator)

Mass/Worship Service times:


Sacred Heart Hospital, Pensacola:

Mass is held at 11:30 a.m. each weekday, 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 8 a.m. on Sundays in the Chapel, located on the second floor of the main hospital.

Sacred Heart on the Emerald Coast, Miramar Beach:

Mass is held at 11:30 a.m. each Thursday in the chapel, near the hospital’s main entrance.

Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf, Port St. Joe

Mass is held 1:00 p.m. the first Friday of every month.
An interdenominational worship service is held at 11:30 a.m. each Wednesday.
All services are held in the chapel, near the hospital’s main entrance.

Haven of our Lady of Peace

Mass is held at 9:15 a.m. each weekday in the Chapel near the main entrance.

Meet our Pastoral Care Staff

Sacred Heart Hospital Pensacola:

Rev. Jenny Medley, BCC

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL
Huntingdon College, Montgomery , AL

Rev. Frank Wyler, BCC

Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, TX
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX
Fr. Tom Koyickal
Priest Chaplain

St. Charles Seminary, Nagpur, India
Stiftungs Fach Hochschule, College of Social Service, Bendedictbeneven, Germany

The Haven of our Lady of Peace

Jim Palmer, BCC
Pastoral Care Coordinator

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Clinical Pastoral Education, Baptist Hospital
Troy State University
University of West Florida

Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast, Miramar Beach and
Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf, Port St. Joe

Rev. Jeff Ryan, BCC
Manager, Mission Integration, SHHEC and SHHG

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, NC
Tusculum College, Greeneville, TN
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

Pastoral Care
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