Since Esperanza’s founding nearly 30 years ago, spiritual care has been an essential part of the whole-person health care services that we seek to provide to each patient. There is a significant body of research that demonstrates strong linkages among the spiritual care that patients receive, their satisfaction with their health care services, and their overall health and well-being. At Esperanza, our patients frequently express the desire to discuss spiritual concerns or to pray with someone during their visit.
Yet, as Esperanza’s patient volume has multiplied over the past few years and with our expansion from one to three sites, it became apparent that more help was needed to provide spiritual care and counsel to patients, and to sow the Gospel abundantly (Matthew 13). So, in 2011 a Chaplaincy was re-established at Esperanza. This Chaplaincy currently consists of two bilingual staff Chaplains (one full-time and one part-time) and approximately fifteen Volunteer Chaplains who collectively minister to Esperanza’s staff and to our patients and patients’ families at all three of our sites.
The Esperanza Chaplaincy is guided by two Biblical passages…
- The first has to do with loving God and people:
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:37-40
- The second has to do with inviting people to follow Jesus with their lives:
“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ ” – Matthew 28:18-20
The Esperanza Chaplaincy ministry, in faithfulness to the Lord, Scripture and the Esperanza mission statement, seeks to:
- Serve Esperanza patients and the North Philadelphia community surrounding Esperanza regardless of religious background by a loving and listening presence with people, by prayer for healing and hope and by sharing the Word of salvation in Christ.
- Grow people who are already disciples of Jesus among Esperanza staff members and patients, and
- Pursue this in complementary relationship with the local church.