Here for Everyone

December 21, 2022 Providence News Team

Older woman reading a book.

For many hospitalized patients and their families, talking to a compassionate and caring professional, such as a chaplain, can bring comfort and spiritual guidance during challenging times. That’s why, at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers San Pedro and Torrance, our diverse group of interfaith chaplains can provide you with confidential, nonjudgmental support, no matter your beliefs.

Our Catholic, Protestant and Jewish chaplains all have extensive training in assisting people of any faith—including agnostics and atheists. In addition, we offer resources and support for patients and their families who identify as Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu. If you have spiritual needs that can be met by only a religious leader of your faith who is not on our team, we will reach out to local congregations to coordinate care.

“It’s important that pastoral care is specific to the beliefs of a particular person and how they identify culturally, religiously and spiritually,” says Jennifer Kozakowski, chief mission integration officer. “As human beings, we all have things that ground us. For some, it may be religion or spiritual practices. Others may find meaning and connection in things like family, friends, pets or nature.”

On “Faithful Fridays,” the chaplains introduce themselves to new patients who identify as Jewish, Muslim or Buddhist. Depending on the hospital, patients may be provided with religious texts, prayer booklets and other religious items such as prayer rugs and cubes that recite the Quran in Arabic, for Muslim patients, or Shabbat bags that include electric candles, kosher grape juice and a bread roll to help Jewish patients observe the Sabbath.

Andrew Campbell is a Protestant minister and manager of mission and spiritual care at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro. One of the center’s full-time chaplains, Kendall Kridner-Protzmann, is a Protestant minister who identifies as nonbinary.

“Chaplain Kendall brings a perspective and experiences that connect with LGBTQ+ patients and families,” says Campbell.

Aviva Levin is a full-time chaplain at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance, and Jewish by faith affiliation. She fondly recalls meeting with a pious Muslim patient who was shocked that she was bringing him resources for his faith. Levin recalls, “His jaw just dropped when I told him I was affiliated with the Jewish community. He said, ‘So here I am, a Muslim man, receiving faith support from a female Jewish chaplain in a Catholic hospital. That’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. Yet another reason why everyone should come to Providence Little Company of Mary.’ “

“Often, patients assume that a Catholic hospital is only concerned with Catholic and Christian needs,” says Paul White, manager of spiritual care at Providence Little Company of Mary Torrance and spiritual health lead for the South Division. “They are pleasantly surprised to be cared for this way.”

Providing this care is part of our Mission. Under the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as a Catholic hospital we are required to attend to the spiritual and pastoral needs of all patients and their families, regardless of faith affiliation or belief system. “This comes from the preeminent value in the Catholic social tradition of the innate dignity of every human,” says Kozakowski, “and recognizing the call to care for the whole, integrated persons and all their needs.”

For more information on the chaplaincy program, call 844-925-0942.

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The Providence News Team brings you the updates to keep you informed about what's happening across the organizational ecosystem. From partnerships to new doctor announcements, we are committed to keeping you informed.

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