Spiritual Care Services

Chaplains work closely with our healthcare teams to support patients, families and staff. At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), chaplains provide spiritual care to persons of all faiths or no faith, 24/7. They also educate and support staff and serve as a liaison between families and their local clergy. Chaplains support the diverse spiritual, emotional and cultural needs of patients and families as they cope with the trauma, stress and challenges of illness and hospitalization.

Chaplains offer:

  • Compassionate listening and nonjudgmental presence
  • Prayer for healing, hope, reconciliation or any other spiritual needs
  • Bereavement support
  • Support prior to, during and after surgery, as well as in family meetings
  • Decision-making support and consultation on religious/ethical issues
  • Guidance with spiritual questioning and issues of faith and meaning making
  • Ritual and sacramental support
  • Connections to and facilitation of visits with outside clergy or spiritual advisers on a families’ behalf
  • Access to Bibles, Korans, Prayer Books and other religious items like Shabbat candles, rosaries and prayer cards, etc.
  • Support for religious holidays throughout the year

How to contact a chaplain

Chaplains are available 24/7 and are reachable by calling the hospital operator at 215-590-1000 and asking that a chaplain be paged at 10743.

Chaplains are in-house from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

On weekends, a chaplain is in-house from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On-call coverage is available at all other times 24/7, by paging us directly at 10743 or by calling the hospital operator at 215-590-1000 and asking to page the chaplain on-call.

Meet our Spiritual Care Team

Staff chaplains

  • Rev. Bernie Callahan, MPCC
  • Cantor Rebecca Carl, MSM, BCC
  • Dexter Lanctot, MDiv
  • The Rev. Laura Palmer, MDiv, BCC
  • Kelly Jean-Philippe, MDiv
  • Rev. Millicent Wess, MDiv, BCC

On-call chaplains

  • Imam Shahid Abdul-Jabbar, MDiv, MA
  • Joshua Edgar, MA
  • Verna Hutchinson-Toler, MDiv

Reflective and religious spaces

The Schlimm Center for Prayer and Reflection is located on the first floor of the Main Building, just off the Rotunda by the Food Court. Three rooms, one larger and two smaller, provide quiet and reflective spaces where all are welcome to pray, reflect and meditate.

Kosher pantries are located within the Main Building near the Food Court and the Buerger Center inside the Welcome Center. A chaplain can provide access.

Patients, families and staff may leave private prayer requests for the chaplains in the wooden prayer box located in the lobby of the Schlimm Center. Confidentiality is honored by the chaplains who read and respond to these requests.

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