Spiritual Care

OUR VISION is to offer spirtual care to patients, families and staff which they experience as changing their perspective and offering new hope, build bridges to the community that provides opportunities for others to learn pastoral care, and be part of our common mission of healing.

OUR MISSION is to provide spiritual care services to patients, their families and healthcare staff; education to students, staff, visiting clergy and department volunteers; and administration of the department to ensure effective cooperation within St. John’s Riverside Hospital.  Implementation will be made through pastoral visits, worship services, and facilitation of pastoral visits by community clergy; consultation and patient conferences; participation in team meetings, rounds, and hospital committees; and assisting staff in understanding patients’ religious beliefs and practices, and integrating them into treatment plans.


Who Are We?

Chaplaincy is a dimension of health care devoted to serving the needs of your spirit. Each new stage of life involves change. At such times, you may have thoughts and feelings that you need to share with a caring and compassionate person. Pain, illness, an unexpected diagnosis—any of these can create feelings of deep doubt about your deepest beliefs and bring questions about the meaning and purpose of life.

 Our hospital chaplains and trained volunteers are here to support you. You may want someone to assist you in coping with difficult circumstances, to help you think through a problem, to pray with you, or just someone to be there and listen. Whatever your need, we encourage you to call upon us.

You do not need to consider yourself religious in order to speak with a chaplain.

Staff Chaplain: In addition to at least a college degree and three years of seminary, staff chaplains undergo intensive (CPE) training focused on providing pastoral care to patients, families, and staff, especially in crisis situations. Staff chaplains are board certified or eligible for board certification, having completed a minimum of 4 CPE units totaling 1600 hours.  They offer pastoral care to all regardless of religious tradition.

Catholic Ministry: A Catholic priest and Eucharistic ministers offer sacramental care to all Catholic patients. Priests are ordained, have completed seminary, and may or may not have had CPE.  Our current priest has completed four units of CPE training.  He is available for anointing, confession, and counsel.  Eucharistic ministers are trained by their local congregation to offer communion and prayer.  They also receive departmental orientation for hospital ministry.

Rev. Paul Bryant-Smith
Director, and Staff Chaplain, Andrus Pavilion (M-F) 914-964-4368

Fr. Nicholas Nwagwu
Catholic priest, Andrus Pavilion (M-F) 914-964-4570

Whatever brings you to us, we are committed to treating you as a total human being. As we attend to your physical needs, we also want to attend to your spiritual needs. 

You may be visited by a Spiritual Care Department Intern who will:

  • inform you about special religious services at the hospital
  • let you know of other spiritual care activities available to you and your family members
  • call your own clergy for you at your request
  • provide a listening ear

If you have indicated your religious preference as Roman Catholic:

  • a priest will visit you soon after your admission to offer you anointing and other sacraments
  • Eucharistic Ministers will offer daily communion and prayer Monday through Friday
  • Dial ext. 4570 for a priest during regular hours M-F; the operator or nurse for after hour emergencies

Whatever brings you to us, we are committed to treating you as a total human being. As we attend to your physical needs, we also want to attend to your spiritual needs.

You may be visited by a Spiritual Care Department Intern who will: 

  • inform you about religious services at the hospital
  • let you know of other spiritual activities avaialbe to you and your family members
  • call you own clergy for you at request
  • provide a listening ear

If you have indicated your religious preference as Roman Catholic

  • a priest will visit you soon after your admission to offer you anointing and other sacraments
  • Eucharistic Ministers will offer daily communion and prayer Monday through Friday
  • Dial ext. 4570 for a priest during regular hours M-F; the operator or nurse for after hour emergencies

Religious Materials

Prayer leaflets, daily meditation booklets, Bibles, Sabbath candles, rosaries, prayer rugs, and other ritual items are available on request.

Meditation Room

The Meditation Room is a nondenominational sacred space for prayer and meditation. Open at all times to patients, families, and staff, it is located on the first floor across from the cafe.

How To Contact Us

While in the hospital:

  • Ask the nurse to call for you
  • Dial extension 4368 during regular hours, Monday through Friday
  • Call the hospital operator after hours for emergencies


Spiritual Care Department,  7 West (near elevators)

967 North Broadway,  Yonkers, NY 10701 (914) 964-4368