Meet Chaplain Miki Mathioudakis, a source of support for any patient, family member, or guest who ends up at St.Vincent for any reason.
At least once a month when I walk into a room a patient announces, “I’m not Catholic.” To which I respond, “Neither am I.” The chaplains who serve in the St.Vincent ministries are from a broad range of faith traditions, including Christian, Buddhist and formerly a Jewish chaplain. As chaplains, we are called to support patients, families and staff of many different faiths. Whether Muslim or Baptist, Quaker or Jehovah’s Witness, Roman Catholic or Presbyterian—or any other Christian or non-Christian tradition—we will endeavor to make sure that your spiritual needs are met.
Spirituality is so much broader than “religion.” Spirituality involves what gives your life meaning and purpose, what gives you hope and how you make sense of this situation. We are all spiritual beings on a human journey, and many of us find that a particular church or faith tradition best supports us in our quest to understand the “mystery,” the great “I will be who I will be.”
Chaplains are very human people. For many of us, ministry is our second career. After working in another field, we were “called” to ministry. Our call led to a seminary education (usually for a Master of Divinity degree) and usually ordination.
To be a chaplain at St.Vincent, you must also be board certified—which requires completion of a six-month internship, followed by a full-time yearlong residency in Clinical Pastoral Education. After a year’s experience, candidates may complete the application process and appear before a committee of peers in the region to be approved for certification. After certification, we are required to complete 50 hours of continuing education per year. (Believe me, before I embarked on this journey, I had no idea what I was getting into!)
I love the work that I am privileged to do. It’s often challenging and also rewarding. I have encountered many situations where I am not sure what I should say or do. And the more tentative I feel, the more I rely on God’s grace and guidance. It’s good to work with people who want to work together, talk about weighty issues and rely on prayer and the presence of God to guide us.
Please know that we are here to support you. Pastoral care is available 24/7. If you have experienced a health challenge or a loss, or if you simply feel the need to talk about your beliefs or the beliefs of others, call on us to have a conversation about those issues.
May the God of peace be with you, to grant you grace, hope and endurance.