To be hospitalized or admitted to a nursing home can be extremely challenging. Many people find that talking with a chaplain can help during this period. Chaplains provide spiritual support to residents, family members, friends, and staff members at d’Youville Pavilion and St. Mary’s Residences.
An integral part of our health care team, chaplains are available around-the-clock to be a caring presence, offer spiritual and emotional support, and listen with openness and understanding. Patients and families are encouraged to call a chaplain when experiencing feelings of fear, anger, loneliness, helplessness, anxiety, grief, loss or when they just need someone to talk to. The priest chaplain is available to celebrate the Sacrament of the Sick and Dying.
Chaplains are available to support all our patients regardless of their beliefs and religious affiliation. You don’t need to be affiliated with a congregation or faith community to call a chaplain. However, if you do belong to a community, we can notify your home faith community to make a visit. Your minister, rabbi or spiritual advisor may visit you or your family member at any time.
- Sacraments and other religious rituals
- Pastoral support in times of stress
- Contact with your home congregation and clergy
- Family support
- Help interpreting your spiritual needs to staff
- End-of-life issues
- On-site meditation room
For more information about Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy Services, please call 207.777.8520.
Meet Our Chaplains
Sister Anne-Marie Bourque, RSM
This is a fourth career for me. I have graduate degrees from University of Maine at Gorham and Boston College. I served in positions in education, finance and spirituality before training to become a chaplain. I worked as a part-time chaplain at Mercy Hospital before coming to a full-time position at St. Mary’s Health System in 2016. My first three years were served at St. Mary’s Hospital and presently at d’Youville Pavilion for 20 hours a week. Being a senior citizen now, I have the wisdom to see my strengths and weaknesses. I know myself to be a good listener and in working one-on-one with patients and residents, my position as a chaplain plays to these strengths.
As a Sister of Mercy, I am attuned to the needs of the poor, sick and uneducated. Chaplaincy fits in nicely with the charism of my religious community. I see my visits with patients and residents as a sacred encounter. While I hope to be able to offer prayer, comfort and encouragement, I also feel ministered in my encounters with others. I feel especially drawn to residents who are dying and with their families. It feels a bit like being a midwife as I assist in the transition from one stage of life to another. I enjoy and learn from my associations with people of other races, religions and ethnicity. Diversity is to be valued in the Covenant Health culture. I feel I have saved the fourth and best career for last. As I head closer to retirement age, I am happy to get up each day and come to be with my colleagues, staff and residents, as together, we respond to God’s call to be Merciful to one another.
I have always felt drawn to ministry even from a young age. However, I also wanted to marry and have a family. I eventually married my wife, Maureen, and together we raised four children. I became an educator and taught children at the elementary level for 34 years. Prior to my retirement, I read an article on Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). I contacted the director and spoke with him at length. A year later, I started the process of completing four units of CPE. After completing my first unit, I heard that there was a per diem position here at d’Youville Pavilion. I was hired with the expectation of completing my other units of CPE.
Ministering to the sick, the elderly and the dying is truly my calling. To enter someone’s life in very sacred moments is truly a gift. To have the opportunity to journey with them and their families in great times of struggle, fear, and even death, humbles me. I feel that I have come full circle and I am able to serve God’s people and have a wonderful family.