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Covenant Health is an innovative, Catholic regional delivery network and a leader in values based, not-for-profit health and elder care. We sponsor hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living residences and other health and elder care organizations throughout New England.

Spiritual Care Services

What is spiritual care?

At St. Joseph Hospital we understand that an important part of providing care includes meeting the spiritual and religious needs of our patients and their loved ones. Our chaplains recognize the worth and dignity of each person and offer pastoral care consistent with each individual's own traditions and beliefs. Chaplains provide spiritual support to patients, their families, and hospital staff. They also serve as a liaison for clergy in the community. Chaplains sustain, support, guide, and help people in their search for meaning in illness and for reconciliation in relationships.

Illness often raises questions such as:

  • Why did this happen to me?
  • Who am I now?
  • Where do I go from here?

These issues can create strong emotions such as anxiety, doubt, guilt, anger, and questioning of long-held beliefs. By offering prayer, comfort, counseling, and spiritual conversation, chaplains can help patients and their families draw upon their own spiritual resources to facilitate healing and recovery.

Request spiritual care:

  • When you want someone to pray with you or for you.
  • When you need to talk.
  • When you need someone to listen.
  • When you feel lonely, separated, forgotten, scared, or worried.
  • When you feel grateful, blessed, prayerful, or heard by God.
  • When you feel like you have lost your faith.
  • When you feel like giving up.
  • When you are unable to forgive.
  • When you are unable to pray.
  • When you have cause to celebrate.

How to contact a chaplain

Chaplains are in the hospital every day and are on call at night for emergencies. Any staff member will be happy to contact or page one for you. The chaplains can assist you to contact local pastors, rabbis, or an imam.

Sacred texts

Bibles are placed in each patient room. If there is no Bible in your room, or if you would like to borrow one in Spanish, please ask a chaplain. Bibles or copies of the Koran are available to take home.
Chaplains also can provide rosaries, prayer cards in Hebrew and English for Jewish patients, and religious materials for Moslems in Arabic.

The hospital chapel

The chapel is always open for prayer and reflection. It is located on the first floor of the hospital across from the south elevators. Chapel services may be viewed within the hospital on channel 77.


The public is invited to attend Mass in the hospital chapel on:

  • Sundays at 4:00 p.m.

  • Monday through Friday at 11:30 a.m.

  • Holy Hour including Benediction on Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Eucharistic Ministers are available daily to bring Communion to Catholic patients. Priests are not on staff but can be called to administer the Sacrament of the Sick if requested.

Meet the Priests that support St. Joseph Hospital

Father Gerard J. Dion - "Father Gerry" was born on January 10, 1955, to Paul J. Dion (deceased 2012) and Marie-Luce (Audet) Dion (Living) in Coaticook, Quebec, Canada. He immigrated from Canada to the United States in 1959 and became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1970.  He and his family settled in Nashua, New Hampshire where he attended St. Aloysius of Gonzaga School followed by Bishop Guertin High School. He earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration degree from Nathaniel Hawthorne College and a Master of Divinity degree from St. Mary’s Seminary & University.

Father Gerry was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Manchester on June 6, 1992 by Bishop Leo E. O’Neil. His ministerial assignments included St. Joseph Parish, St. Patrick Parish, and Chaplain service to several Nursing Homes in Manchester, NH. He also served as Hospital Chaplain to Catholic Medical Center. Following a leave of absence from ministry due to personal health, Father Gerry is currently assigned as a part-time Hospital Chaplain to St. Joseph Hospital and Southern NH Medical Center. He also celebrates Liturgies with the religious Sisters at Presentation of Mary Academy and continues to do weekend ministry in various parishes in the diocese to assist his brother priests whenever they need help. 

Fr. Ethelbert Orabuche was born in Onitsha in Anambra State of Nigeria to the family of Joseph and Felicia Orabuche. He was ordained for the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha on July 14, 2007. He worked in various parishes in his home diocese before moving to the United States of America in the fall of 2015, where he served at the Parish of the Assumption in Dover, NH.

Presently Fr. Ethelbert is currently serving as the Chaplain of Souhegan Deanery of the Diocese of Manchester. His ministry as a chaplain covers St. Joseph Hospital and Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, in Nashua, NH. He also serves at the following Nursing Homes in Nashua: Courville, Greenbriar, Fairview, Langdon Place, and Merrimack Hospice.

This chapel contains a relic. Relics remind us of the holiness of a saint and his cooperation in God’s work; at the same time, relics inspire us to ask for the prayers of that saint and to beg the grace of God to live the same kind a faith-filled life.