Introduction - Hospital Chaplain Services

History of the Hospital Chaplain Service

From the beginning of the 1990s (1992), the social changes made it possible to involve church services and the presence of chaplains in the life of the hospital. Rev. Ferenc TÓTH, retired Reformed chaplain organized and performed the pieties with the involvement of theologists and later with chaplain Ilona HAJDU. It has become more and more obvious that there is a great demand by patients and relatives for spiritual conversation and supporting presence. To satisfy this demand, the management of the hospital established the hospital chaplain position (among the first hospitals in Hungary) in 1993, by employing Judit GÁL for this purpose. The annual assessments proved an increase in demand, therefore, in the following years, 2 additional positions were created (by employing chaplains from the Reformed and the Catholic Church).  Mónika NAGY, Imre SZERENCSI, Erika TÓTHNÉ SZERENCSI, Éva DANINÉ BÍRÓ, Gabriella NAGY and Éva DANINÉ BÍRÓ for another time have served as chaplains of the Reformed Church and Zsolt LACZKÓ as that of the Greek Catholic Church since 2002. During the years, individual and group counselling have become central services, for which there is a great demand independently of belief systems, conviction or congregation. Chaplains take part in the life of the institution by organizing and managing (church and hospital) celebrations, using programs provided by children and youth groups (e.g., songs in the Advent period) as well. The coordination and involvement of patient visiting volunteers are also part of the services provided. They take part in multiple church and healthcare events with presentations and educational activities.  They provide individual and organized forms of spiritual support for the staff of the hospital as well.

What is spiritual counselling about?  Supportive conversations for patients, their family members and their helpers. Such activities focus on the patient instead of the disease by discussing the past, present, future, the resources and shortages available and perceived, and the maintenance of hope. Psychological, spiritual and religious support are also part of the interdisciplinary healing work implemented in cooperation with other helpers.

Last update: 2021. 09. 29. 11:14