Pray and meditate
The Calgary Chinese Elderly Citizens’Association’s drop-in centre has aspiritual space on the third floor of theChinese Cultural Centre in downtownCalgary. The Hall of Mercy, a placeto pray and meditate, features twostatues—Buddha and the ChineseGoddess of Mercy. The associationalso helps connect people with a faith-based counsellor.
Help in life and death
As a chaplain with the Calgary JewishFederation, Sari Shernofsky providesspiritual support and conducts prayersand rituals for people at the end oflife. She also helps older adults movefrom home into long-term care, trainsvolunteers and coordinates visits bya rabbi.
“I am a strong seniors’ advocate,”
Nourish body and soul
Shernofsky says. “My role is to support
older adults to live life as they wish.”
Shernofsky visits every member of
Calgary’s Jewish community who is
in hospital. She also visits continuing
care residents and people from the
community with chronic mental
The cafeteria at St. Michael’s Long TermCare Centre in Edmonton preparesand serves about 1,000 meals a day.
Residents, people from neighbouring
assisted-living homes and anyone from
the area who’s hungry can enjoy these
nutritious, affordable meals—it’s $5 to
feast on the fruits of Edmonton’s hardest
“It’s part of being a communityand caring for people with love anddignity,” says Paul Teterenko, director ofoperations at the long-term care centre.
St. Michael’s chapel has regularChristian services. Residents from otherfaiths also invite members of their faithto lead ceremonies in the chapel.
Wellness and wellbeing
The Bethany Care Society providesphysical, mental and spiritual carefor the people living at its sevencontinuing care centres across Alberta.
The organization’s team of chaplainsrepresent a spectrum of faiths.
“Just as dietitians talk about dietaryneeds, chaplains talk about the spiritualneeds of the residents,” says DaranneHarris, vice-president and chief missionofficer for the Bethany. “The chaplain’srole is to get to know residents andsupport their spiritual well-being.”Whether residents are Muslim, Jewish,Buddhist, Hindi or another faith, theBethany connects with faith leadersthrough partnerships and communityprograms.
Chaplains with the Bethany CareSociety also work closely with residentswho have dementia. They providespiritual counsel and find creative ways,particularly through music, to helppeople feel connected to their past.
The chaplains at each of the GoodSamaritan’s 21 locations across Albertaprovide spiritual guidance for peoplewith dementia and at the end of life.The society also trains pastoral carevisitors. These volunteers visit people inlong-term care, acute care and at home inthe community.
Compassion and community
The three chaplains at Covenant Health’sEdmonton General Continuing CareCentre provide one-on-one spiritualsupport and guidance, offer a weeklynon-denominational chapel service,maintain a multi-faith space andcoordinate visits from faith leaders froma variety of communities.
“We are serving with compassion bysupporting the whole person at all stagesof life,” says Arthur Peterson, a chaplainwith Covenant Health.
A monthly interfaith calendar marksimportant dates for a diverse rangeof cultural, spiritual and religioustraditions. Peterson and his twocolleagues also offer group discussions,an Alzheimer’s program and aninspirational board where residentscan post thoughts, drawingsand photos.
It’s part of being a
community and caring
for people with love