A few words about us

FatherJohn

In 2004, twelve girlfriends were invited to walk the halls at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles with one of the staff chaplains, Father John Sigler, to see first hand the work of the Spiritual Care Department. They left the hospital impressed by the complexities of caring for the most ill children in Southern California and the tremendous impact that a child’s illness or injury has on the entire family.

When disease or injury threatens the life of a child, even the most religious of families can be suddenly thrown into a crisis of faith. Sick with worry, fear of the unknown, and grief — a “why me, why my child?” dark night of the soul – many parents and siblings desperately need spiritual solace to see them through. The Spiritual Care department at Children’s Hospital has become a nationally recognized pioneer in providing people of all faiths, or lack of, with care for the soul while their children’s bodies are taken care of.

Childrens Hospital Los Angeles has made a significant investment in providing Spiritual Care Services for the patients and families it serves. As the friends walked the halls with Father John, they also recognized that there are limits to how much Spiritual Care could be funded by the hospital general budget. Because many children and their families find their most desperate moments in the middle of the night or on weekends, the girlfriends decided that they would start a non-profit charitable organization to raise enough money so that the hospital could provide around-the-clock coverage of spiritual care services.

And so it began.

Today, thanks to a visionary hospital, which believes in the work of the Spiritual Care Department, and the generosity of our communities and corporate sponsors who contribute in so many ways, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles is able to provide 24/7 spiritual care for the patients and families it serves.

Our Vision and Goals

The Spiritual Care Guild was founded in 2003 by Fr. John Sigler and a faithful group of friends. The idea was to bring an energetic group of people together to spread the word about the need for spiritual care and to raise funds to support the Department of Spiritual Care at CHLA. Our goal was to be able to provide 24 hour Chaplaincy coverage to families who found themselves facing critical, often life-threatening crises. Within three years, our challenge was met. Our goal moving forward is to maintain what we have achieved, which is an annual commitment to CHLA, and to provide additional resources which would enable broader availability throughout the hospital of Spiritual Care Services, and to grow our endowment which would ensure long-term resources for Spiritual Care Services at CHLA.

Another goal of Spiritual Care at CHLA is to provide comfort, compassion and cheer to those spending time in the hospital. Community Outreach programs help us provide items used frequently by the Chaplaincy staff such as baptismal kits with hand knit stoles, decorated journals, prayer cards, beaded bracelets, placemats, bookmarks, toiletry kits, and various holiday items that are donated throughout the year to the patients and their families. We also support the needs of the doctors, nurses and hospital staff who struggle with their own grief and sadness when traditional medicine is unsuccessful. Tea for the Soul is our way of providing baked goods and support to these individuals. In a short amount of time, the Spiritual Care Guild has become a vital member of the Associates and Affiliates groups supporting this outstanding hospital.

We are proud of our accomplishments and hope you will consider becoming a part of this dynamic organization.

Testimonials

  • “To me, Spiritual Care is one of the more important parts of the healing process. Many of the patients and their families at Children’s have never walked through the doors of a hospital before. Some have very little knowledge of English and don’t understand the seriousness of their child’s illness. Because the Spiritual Care Departmart Continue Reading

    Ron Preissman, Board of Trustees member
  • The family of a patient who passed away reached out to the chaplain who had visited them regularly. “It was so helpful to speak to you, and your blessings provided comfort during the most difficult time in our lives. Even if we did not talk for a long time, it meant a lot that you Continue Reading

    Anonymous Family,
  • When her child was being discharged a patient’s mother stopped by the Spiritual Care office. She said, “I did not want to leave without saying ‘thank you’ to the chaplain who came and visited me. I’m not really religious. I had to understand the complicated medical condition of my son. I had spent so much Continue Reading

    Patient's Mother,