Celebrating Pastoral Care Week: Meet Sister My Huong Pham
Note: This week is Pastoral Care Week, October 23-29, and the 2022 theme is “Relevant and Responsive in Times of Crises.” During this week, we will highlight through our blog some of our sisters who minister in pastoral care.
Sister My Huong Pham, SP, has ministered as the Director of Spiritual Care at Holy Cross Hospital, located in Chicago, since February of this year.
The hospital is located in the Archdiocese of Chicago and is a member of the Sinai Chicago health system, which ministers to the underserved individuals from Latino and African-American communities.
“Our spiritual care team consists of the chaplains of diverse religious backgrounds,” Sister My Huong said. “Our chaplains collaborate with one another to serve the pastoral needs of patients, families and professional caregivers throughout the hospital units in emergency, behavioral health, medical-surgery, intensive care and addiction care.”
Sister My Huong added that the team provides pastoral and spiritual care to patients during their end-of-life journey.
“Besides providing a pastoral presence at the bedside and praying with and for patients for their physical, emotional and spiritual healing, our chaplains offer advocacy through collaborative work with the hospital healthcare team in order to assist patients to receive the best care they deserve,” she said. “The Spiritual Care team also coordinates with the local church clergies to arrange sacramental services for Catholic patients and religious services for patients of all faiths.”
Sister My Huong said she receives joy through this ministry by being a presence to those in need.
“Through my chaplaincy calling, I recognize God’s humble revelation to me in every story told and shared by patients, their families and professional caregivers whom I encounter daily,” she said. “Pastoral ministry is a work of transmitting God’s love, healing and peace to each unique individual, from their pain into healing, hurt to comfort, sadness to joy and despair to hope.
“In providing spiritual counseling to a patient at the bedside, I feel as if I am performing an act of breaking and sharing the bread of life with that patient. The moment of active listening to patients feel so sacred; both the patient and I recognize God with the eyes of faith.”
She added that she refers to her ministry as her “daily Emmaus journey.”
“In the context of walking the faith with others – my chaplain team, patients and professional caregivers of all racial, social and religious backgrounds – I retell the story of God’s love, mercy and justice and recognize God’s real presence in any of life’s circumstances,” she said. “This sacred journey brings spiritual healing that medicines can’t promise to bring.”