Saint Alphonsus Health System

Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care

Spiritual Care

The legacy of Saint Alphonsus Health System spiritual care is rooted in the ministry of Roman Catholic sisters who responded to the needs of the frontier people of Idaho and Oregon and laid the foundations for healthcare and hospitals in Baker City, Boise, Nampa and Ontario.

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia built and dedicated the first St. Elizabeth Hospital in 1897 and infused it with the prophetic spirit of Francis of Assisi and their foundress Mother Francis Bachmann. Their sense of purpose and resolution continue to inspire Saint Alphonsus Baker City to serve the needs of others and devote care to the entire human family and all creation.

The Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross answered the call of Bishop Alphonsus Glorieux to start a school and hospital in Boise and Saint Alphonsus Hospital opened in 1894 with five sisters, two doctors and nine employees. Their desire to know God more deeply and willingness to bring wisdom in leadership continue to inspire Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center Boise to provide creative vision in care, mission and stewardship.

The Sisters of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland came to the United States in 1841; later, sisters without money, training or deep connections to the area moved to Nampa and lived in tents for two and one half years before Mercy Medical Center opened in 1917. Their dedication to the life long journey of discovering the Mercy of God continues to inspire Saint Alphonsus Nampa to serve and support the community while advocating for those in need.

One German and five Irish Dominican sisters of the Portuguese Congregation of St. Catherine of Sienna accepted the offer of Bishop Charles O'Reilly to travel to Oregon and in the space of 13 months built, staffed and supplied Holy Rosary Hospital, which opened in 1912 on the outskirts of Ontario. Their dedication to a blend of contemplation and action continues to inspire Saint Alphonsus Ontario to be guided by faith that evokes charity, goodness and joy.

Today, employees at all levels of the health system, inspired by the heritage, vision and dedication of the founding religious orders, embrace the living spirit of the sisters and reflect the commitment of Saint Alphonsus to serve together in the spirit of the Gospel as a compassionate and transforming healing presence within our communities.  

Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care

Reflecting the commitment of Saint Alphonsus to serve body, mind and spirit, our health care teams include nationally certified professional chaplains, theologically and clinically trained clergy and lay people who are sensitive to a wide range of cultures and faiths, respectful of spiritual or religious preferences, and who understand the impact of illness or injury on spiritual well-being.

Our Chaplains
  • Provide a non-judgmental and healing presence
  • Provide support in times of trauma, loss or grief
  • Help identify and process your concerns and feelings
  • Listen to your anxieties, fears, anger, concerns, problems, and/or questions
  • Offer guidance in times of difficult decision-making
  • Help clarify ethical concerns and consult with patients, families and staff members in ethical decision making
  • Provide for sacraments and rituals
  • Facilitate contact with a priest, pastor or other spiritual resources
  • Serve as patient advocate by clarifying rights and responsibilities of patients
  • Educate about advance directives
  • Provide support at the end of life
  • Pray with you
Why call a chaplain?
  • For comfort, encouragement, and hope
  • To help find meaning and purpose
  • To help guide you as you make a connection with the Sacred
  • To support you when you feel lost, down, alone or helpless
  • To pray with you
  • To seek solace through sacred writings
  • To assist in ethical or other important decision-making
  • To rejoice and give thanks for life
    Questions to help assess your need for chaplaincy services
      • Am I and/or my family member in need of spiritual or emotional support to cope with a situation?
      • Am I and/or my family member in distress?
      • Do I and/or my family member have questions related to advance directives or ethical decision-making?
      • Am I and/or my family member facing death or have we experienced a recent loss?

      Services and Contact Information

      Boise

      The Holy Cross Chapel and Meditation Garden are located in the main lobby of the central tower, adjacent to the main entrance. The chapel is open 24 hours a day for prayer, meditation and quiet.

      An Interfaith Reflection Room is located on the first floor of the South Tower and offers reflective space for prayer, meditation and quiet in a setting without dominant religious symbols present.

      Religious and devotional literature is available in Care Note racks throughout the hospital and upon request.

      How to reach a chaplain

      To meet with a chaplain, ask a staff member to request a chaplaincy visit. From 8 am to 8 pm you may also make a chaplaincy request through the hospital operator ("0" from within the hospital and 208-367-2121 from outside the hospital).

      Nampa

      How to reach a chaplain

      To meet with a chaplain, ask a staff member to request a chaplaincy visit. You may also make a chaplaincy request through the hospital operator ("0" from within the hospital and 208-463-5000 from outside the hospital).

      Ontario

      How to reach a chaplain

      To meet with a chaplain, ask a staff member to request a chaplaincy visit. You may also make a chaplaincy request through the hospital operator ("0" from within the hospital and 541-881-7000 from outside the hospital).

      Baker City

      How to reach a chaplain

      To meet with a chaplain, ask a staff member to request a chaplaincy visit. You may also make a chaplaincy request through the hospital operator ("0" from within the hospital and 541-523-6461 from outside the hospital).