Providing hope to Dana-Farber patients and loved ones

A cancer diagnosis affects every area of a person’s life. The experience is challenging, and many find that their beliefs can be an important way of coping and finding meaning with this new chapter in their lives. That’s where Walter Moczynski, D.Min. and the team at Dana-Farber’s Center for Spiritual Care come in.

“What I find satisfying most about the work done in the Center for Spiritual Care is that people from many different religions, spiritual beliefs and cultures work together for one common purpose; offering a professional spiritual care service that may bring peace, healing and growth. Our task is to listen and respond to issues that range from fear and worry to living in a hopeful new way. When you are grounded spirituality in your faith, especially during your medical care –you are never alone,” explains Dr. Moczynski.

The Center for Spiritual Care is an integral part of Dana-Farber’s commitment to total patient care and provides many valuable resources to patients, families, and staff from all faiths and religious backgrounds.  Clinically trained chaplains are available to meet privately with individuals who are seeking emotional and spiritual support, and Dana-Farber’s interfaith chapel–located on the second floor of the Yawkey Center for Cancer Care–offers visitors a sanctuary for quiet reflection or prayer. Generous philanthropic support from donors allows the Spiritual Care team to offer their assistance and provide additional services and programming, which include:

  • Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Sacred readings
  • Assistance in receiving sacraments, obtaining kosher meals, or locating the Qiblah
  • Faith-specific and interfaith services in our chapel
  • Guidance in addressing ethical matters
  • Contacts with community clergy by request
  • Devotional materials, including literature, rosaries, yarmulkes, prayer rugs, and prayer shawls
  • Sacred texts in a variety of traditions and languages
  • Shared Journeys, a monthly spiritual support group for women
  • Seminars on Spirituality and Cancer
  • Retreats
  • Weddings

“Every patient is on an individual and at times common journey. At Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, our core mission of treating the whole person with compassionate care is the foundation for the Center for Spiritual Care,” says Dr. Moczynski.

“The goals for the Center for Spiritual Care are to continue to expand to meet the growing and diverse patient population from around the world,” says Dr. Moczynski. “Our team of chaplains have more than 300 patient requests each week to address and donor funds are crucial to ensuring that spiritual resources remain available 24/7 for anyone at Dana-Farber in need of support.”

To learn more about how you can make a contribution to support the Center for Spiritual Care, please contact Shayla Guernon by calling 617-632-3931 or by email shayla_guernon@dfci.harvard.edu.

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