Volunteers Needed for Pastoral Care Roles

May 18, 2016

Looking around the hospital it is not difficult to see many people dedicated to your physical recovery, but another group of care givers is also available to assist your spiritual healing.

“Pastoral care aides and community clergy volunteers serve numerous roles for our patients and their spiritual needs,” said Rev. Richard Hadley, manager of pastoral services at Mercy Hospital Jefferson. “There is compelling evidence that the power of prayer aids in recovery.”

Pastoral Care Manager Rev. Rich Hadley

Pastoral Care Manager Rev. Rich Hadley

Also known as “on-call chaplains,” community clergy volunteers include area pastors and other church leaders who respond in the time of crisis on evenings and weekends. They are often called upon to provide one-on-one support for patients and families in critical situations.

“The role appeals to the practical care pastor who has something of a paramedic personality. It is ideal for the compassionate care giver who can be a supportive presence at the most critical moments of emotional and physical trauma,” Hadley said.

On-call chaplains respond as needed during the days and hours that they choose to cover, and they record the service they provide for the pastoral care manager.

Pastoral care aides are not required to have a degree in divinity or a congregation that they meet with regularly, they just need an open heart and spiritual foundation with a desire to comfort patients in need.

“Pastoral care aides will visit with anywhere from 15 to 50 new patients per day to listen to their concerns. They often pray with the patients or families and provide a presence as needed,” Hadley said. “They complete an assessment of the patient’s ministerial needs and turn that information over to the pastoral care team for follow up.”

Mercy Hospital Jefferson is recruiting additional volunteers for both pastoral care aides and community clergy roles. For more information call Hadley at 636-933-1325 or email richard.hadley@mercy.net.


Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2017 by Truven, an IBM Watson Health company, serves millions annually. Mercy includes 44 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, more than 700 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. 

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