Spiritual Care

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Spiritual Care Services

Hospice of Marion County, Inc. recognizes the importance of Spiritual Care for patients and families. One’s beliefs and values can profoundly affect how patients and their families cope with illness.

Hospice patients and their families may experience spiritual, religious or cultural concerns arising as a result of living with a terminal illness.

Hospice Clinical Chaplains are available for support and may collaborate with a patient’s personal clergy if the patient and family wish. Sometimes people simply need to share their thoughts and feelings with someone that listens with compassion and respects confidentiality.

There is never any attempt to impose a particular faith or tradition or to change a person’s belief system. Hospice Clinical Chaplains respect and acknowledge the patient’s spiritual and cultural values and how these values may impact a patient’s response to their overall care.

You may request a Chaplain at any time of the day or night, by calling 352-873-7400.

Meet our chaplains:

Chaplain Warren ThompsonChaplain Warren Thompson
Hello & Goodbyes…Remembrances

“I received a call about a 60-year-old patient who desired spiritual support. She had very little time remaining and declined further treatment. When we met, I found a woman who was going rapidly through the tasks that hospice encourages: saying hello, I love you and goodbye. She had gone through family photos with her daughter and supported her husband’s grief, while finding reassurance from her faith. She wanted to complete the unfinished business of saying goodbye to her son in an out-of-state prison. When she died peacefully the next day, the family asked me to notify her son. When I called the prison, he said he had been comforted by speaking with his mother and found renewed strength in her strong faith.”

Chaplain Doug FergusonChaplain Doug Ferguson

Doug is a longtime hospice chaplain, who began working for the agency on an as-needed basis in 1993. Over the years, he has been an instrument of healing for the many patients and families he has served. He has a true passion for those who are hurting and is devoted to his role in helping those in pain find peace. “I love being associated with Hospice of Marion County and the work that I am able to do. I feel very humbled, honored and blessed to be here.” Doug is also the chaplain who regularly serves the families at our assisted living facilities.

Chaplain Lew ChildersChaplain Lew Childers

For me…hospice is like a family. I know this from an experience in my own family some 16 years ago. I have never forgotten the difference hospice made in the passing of my father. When he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I knew the prognosis was not hopeful as I had visited patients with this disease. As I expected, his health began to deteriorate. When he became bed bound, we called the hospice where we lived in West Virginia. Immediately, they were by our side to help make arrangements for his end-of-life care. A nurse visited my parents’ home and an adjustable bed was delivered to make him more comfortable.

At that time I was not aware of the many services hospice had to support my family during this difficult time. But I know this: the folks at hospice made it easier. I am grateful for all they did during his last days. After his passing, I knew if I could ever be a part of a hospice program I would welcome the opportunity. With the help of a church friend who served as a volunteer, I now have that opportunity of helping others through a time of sorrow just as we were helped so many years ago.

Chaplain Herb AgeeChaplain Herb Agee

As a hospital chaplain, police officer and church pastor for many years, Herb has shared life and death on deep personal levels with thousands of people. Herb, who goes by the nickname Padre, is both witty and wise, using his real-life application approach to cope with daily challenges with love, humor and depth. The Padre’s message is that true forgiveness has amazing power…the power to restore broken relationship, lift feelings of guilt and literally change one’s perspective of life.

Chaplain James DenyesChaplain James Denyes

Jim’s call to ministry of care came in high school while visiting church members. This call led him to nursing home ministry, hospital ministry and now to hospice ministry with Hospice of Marion County.

Jim says, “It is a great privilege and honor caring for and walking the spiritual/emotional journey with my patients, family and staff. I believe each individual is special and deserves dignity, respect and my undivided attention.“

Chaplain John StrachovskyChaplain John Strachovsky

My ministry has ranged from being lead Pastor of a small parish, to Chaplain of a skilled nursing facility, and now as a Chaplain for Hospice of Marion County.  It is an honor for me to listen and minister to our patients and their families.  The time I spend with our patients is sacred time; lives are reviewed, life choices reflected upon, and memories shared.  I love my job working with these people in these families as we walk through the “valley of the shadow…” together.  As Chaplain for South Team and Brandley House I meet people from all cultures, from all walks of life and experiences.  The things they all share are their humanity, loves, desires, hopes and dreams.  Each one of them is precious and worthy of kindness, dignity and respect.