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Spiritual Services

Spiritual Support for Patients, Family Members, and Employees

Our trained professional staff hospital interfaith chaplains offer spiritual care and support to individuals of all faiths or of no particular faith. Specific denominational affiliation is not required to request our services.

Our Services and Staff

Bedside Chaplain Visits

Health Care Chaplains are trained spiritual care providers—ministers of any faith and Catholic Priests—who can help support people who are facing difficult decisions or offer compassionate companionship and spiritual/religious comfort at any time of a hospitalization. Interfaith and Catholic Chaplains are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Your nurse or other members of your health care team can contact the chaplain on your behalf.

Interfaith Spiritual Care

Our professional hospital interfaith chaplains offer spiritual care and support to individuals and families of all faiths or of no particular faith. Specific religious affiliation is not required to request our services. Our chaplains will help to make contact to a religious or spiritual leader of your tradition.


Our Bereavement Support Program is based on the belief that grieving the loss of a loved one can be a process of healing. We would like to support you in this journey by providing you with a safe environment where you can share your experiences with others, and by offering you additional information about grief, bereavement and healing that may help you gain a deeper understanding of the many aspects of grief. It is in the integration of our emotions, our experiences and our thinking that we can cope more effectively with the pain about the loss and find new perspectives for living our lives.

The facilitators and presenters of this program sincerely believe - and have many personal and professional experiences with grief and bereavement - that the wounds of grief can heal and that you can go on to live full and meaningful lives. We are committed to the welfare of those who attend any portion of the program. We invite you to join us as you journey down your path of coping with the loss of your loved one.

Support Groups

Baystate Health's bereavement support program provides weekly support groups that offer a balance of supportive sharing in a group setting and informational sessions on grief and bereavement. This program is open to all who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

Bereavement Resources

Reiki & Guided Imagery


Reiki is a Japanese “hands-on” technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is based on the concept that everything in the universe is made up of energy and this “life force energy” that flows all around us is drawn in by the body, nourishing the cells, organs and glands. When one’s energy is depleted, imbalanced, or the flow is restricted by stress and “holding”, injury, illness, etc., one is more susceptible to discomfort, further illness and disease (as with restrictions of the circulatory and nervous systems). When one’s energy is restored, free-flowing or balanced, one is more likely to feel relaxed and the body’s own innate healing abilities are “jump-started” and utilized for healing.


Although Reiki is “hands-on”, unlike massage, it is administered through a softer touch, rather than a deeper pressure. While the patients is seated or lying down and fully clothed, the practitioner’s hands are placed along energy centers and pathways on the head, neck, chest, abdomen, legs and feet (similar to those used by acupuncturists). As energy is transferred to the body, the patient may feel warmth, coolness, gentle tingling, or just deep relaxation. A Reiki treatment can be beneficial for you when you are experiencing some anxiety, pain, restlessness before or after surgery, or any time during your hospital stay.

The benefits of Reiki may include:

  • Relaxation and stress reduction 
  • Relief of pain and muscle tension
  • A heightened sense of well being
  • Increased energy


If you would like to request a Reiki session while you are a patient in the hospital, notify your caregiver or call 413-794-2899 directly.

This program is offered and coordinated through the Spiritual Services Department. We have several trained Reiki volunteers who are available upon request and are here regularly.

Usui Five Reiki Principles

  1. Just for today I will not anger. 
  2. Just for today I will not worry. 
  3. I will be grateful.  
  4. I will work hard.  
  5. I will be kind to all living beings.

Interfaith Prayers for Healing

Buddhism Prayer 

Though I be suffering and weak and all my youthful spring be gone, yet have I come leaning upon my staff and clambered up the mountain peak.
My check thrown off, my little bowl o’erturned, so sit I here upon the rock.
And o’er my spirit sweeps the breath of liberty!
‘Tis won, the Triple Lore! The Buddha’s will is done.

Christian Prayer

Gracious and merciful God, because you have given your son, I know that you are never far away from me, I turn to you in this quiet moment to seek your comfort and strength.
Be my companion today, O Lord that I may receive your healing and renewing touch.
In Jesus’ name, I Pray Amen.

Hindu Prayer

(from the Vedic Experience)
You, O lord, are the body’s protector.
My body protect.
You, O Lord, are the giver of life.
Grant life to me.
From you, O Lord, comes brilliance of mind.
Illumine my mind.
Whatever is lacking to my being, O Lord, supply that to me.

Islamic Prayer

In the Name of God, the merciful Lord of Mercy.
Praise be to God, the Lord of all being, the merciful Lord of Mercy.
Master of the day of judgment.
You alone we serve.
To You alone we come for aid.
Guide as in the straight path, the path of those whom You have blessed, not of those against whom there is displeasure, nor of those who go away.

Jewish Prayer

Here my voice, O Lord, when I call, Be gracious to me and answer me.
In Thy hands is the soul of every living thing.
I turn to Thee, O Lord, in my distress.
Give me patience and faith, Let not despair overwhelm me.
Renew my trust in Thy mercy and bless the efforts of all who are helping me.
Be with my dear ones in these difficult days.
Grant me Thy healing so that in vigor of body and mind I may return to my loved ones.
For a life which will be marked by goods deeds.

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Reverend Ute Schmidt, Manager of Spiritual Services and Clinical Pastoral Education

Personal Statement

Ute Schmidt Baystate Health Spiritual ServicesAs a chaplain and spiritual care educator, I am invited to become a companion for others on a journey toward healing, wholeness or peaceful endings. With CPE students, together we are beginning a journey of exploring and discovering. Becoming a companion alongside another person is a sacred walk. We are asked to tread lightly and carefully, pause and listen, paying attention to life as it unfolds in us in the moment. Often, a space between is created that blesses us with hope, promise, and compassion. It is in the depth of our humanity where we meet the Holy, the Sacred.


  • United Church of Christ
  • Ordained Minister
  • ACPE Certified Spiritual Care Educator

Fr. Fidelis Lemchi

Personal Statement

Lemchi Fidelis PhotoTo be a chaplain is a vocation; a call to be present physically and mentally; a presence that bonds with another “Know I am here with you and for you”. It is an active presence, a willingness to listen genuinely, inviting one to express one’s feelings and concerns, not to fix the situation or bring miracles, but to assist one to find answers to a particular circumstance, using one’s own resources. In my practice as a chaplain, empathy is the core. You feel sad when the person with whom you are talking expresses sadness, joyful when he or she expresses joy, fearful when he or she expresses fear and then convey those feelings through facial expressions and words in an understandable manner (Dianne Shilling 2013). It is a call to serve; compassionately bringing God’s healing presence to others, through restoration of hope.


  • Roman Catholic
  • Ordained Catholic Priest
  • Certified Chaplain, BCC

Rabbi Ken Hahn

Personal Statement


We are only here for help and health – our own and that of others. As a chaplain I am committed to being present with patients and families to foster a connection that is in itself an experience of the Sacred. Part of chaplaincy is acknowledging the pain we are going through and finding that place of compassion that is in itself healing. Finding connection to ourselves, others important in our lives, our communities, and perhaps even something far greater than we are can help in the healing process.


  • Ordained Rabbi
  • Union of Jewish Universalist Communities

Rev. Dr. Valerie Miller

Personal Statement


As an inter-faith chaplain, I provide support to patients, their families and staff. I make sure that patient’s religious, spiritual practices are protected and honored. I also provide emotional support care to patients, family and staff that don’t have/ don’t identify with a specific religious affiliation. The stories and life experiences that the patients, families and staff share with me are sacred to me.


  • Episcopal Church
  • Ordained Priest

Rev. Marianne MacCullagh

Personal Statement

Marianne MacCullagh Baystate Spiritual ServicesAll around us, we have opportunities to encounter the Holy.  It might only last a moment and we may not hear a sound, but even in the midst of chaos and grief we can take that breath which brings us Peace and Tranquility.


  • United Church of Christ
  • Ordained Minister
  • Certified Chaplain, BCC

Sr. Virginia Maitland

Personal Statement

Sr Virginia Maitland

To accompany another is a sacred trust, and especially so in times of sickness and vulnerability. As a chaplain I enter into another’s sacred story, listen with empathy and compassion, and in this mutuality become an instrument of connection or deepening of a person’s relationship with his/her own Divine Reality.



  • Roman Catholic
  • Sister of St. Joseph of Springfield
  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor
  • Pastoral Counseling Fellow