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Spiritual Care

The Pastoral Care department provides emotional support and a comforting touch to patients and their families when faced with a hospital stay.

Patient in hospital bed and member of our spiritual care team hold hands Patient in hospital bed and member of our spiritual care team hold hands

The mission of HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital is to participate in the healthcare ministry of the church. It is the embodiment of that mission which differentiates St. Anthony’s from other hospital organizations. Believing that every person is created in the image of God and therefore having intrinsic dignity and value, we strive to create a caring climate at St. Anthony’s that emphasizes hospitality, love, respect, service, compassion and faith.

Through our healing ministry, Pastoral Care’s Chaplain (lay or religious) and Pastoral Associates play an important role in helping patients resolve any religious/spiritual problems they may have, thus improving their health and adjustment.

The Chaplain and Pastoral Associates are part of the interdisciplinary team and are responsible for providing spiritual assessments, interventions and documentation in the patient’s chart. Perhaps the most important act of “healing” a Chaplain or Pastoral Associate can perform is to empower the patient or family member to access his/her own spiritual and religious coping strategies.

Understanding a patient’s spiritual needs assists with the patient’s overall care. According to The Joint Commission, “the state of a patient’s spiritual well-being is directly linked to their physical well-being.” The goal of St. Anthony’s Pastoral Associates is to minimize disturbances in the patient’s spiritual life so that spiritual resources can be used to the maximum to aid in physical healing.

Spiritual needs are not necessarily religious needs. While spiritual needs often include religious experiences, spiritual needs has a much broader, individual scope – it is how/where we form our core beliefs and life values that define how we perceive/experience comfort, peace and hope.

To meet the spiritual needs of patients, we understand and respect religious diversity, are sensitive and open-minded regarding the patient’s religious beliefs, and support their religious practices as long as they are not harmful to the patient or to the facility.

Contact Pastoral Care for
  • You need to talk about your feelings or concerns
  • You have spiritual questions
  • You would like someone to pray with you
  • You wish to receive any of the Sacraments
  • You would like some uplifting reading material
  • You would like information on support groups
  • You would like to be sure your church is notified
  • You would like to request a bible
Our Chapel

All are welcome to our Chapel, a place set apart for prayer and a quiet place for reflection that is enhanced by the luminous beauty of the stained glass windows and a stately main altar. 

The Chapel's entrance is on the first floor in a comforting alcove at the end of main hallway to the left of Maple Street Lobby entrance.

Activities in the Chapel can be viewed at any time with our Chapel Cam on Channel 22 on televisions throughout the hospital. Mass and activity schedules are posted in the Chapel alcove.

Altar mural

Following the April 4, 1949 fire at St. Anthony’s Hospital (Effingham, Illinois), the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis chose to rebuild the hospital. In 1951, Mother Magdalene Wiedlocher, OSF, Provincial Superior of the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, signed a contract with the architectural firm of Henry R. Slaby Company (Milwaukee, WI) to design the hospital and Slaby coordinated the chapel’s decorative elements with T.C. Esser Company (Milwaukee, WI). Mother Magdalene requested a crucifixion scene for the sanctuary and Esser offered the rendering of three artists. Professor Joseph August (Sepp) Frank of Munich, Germany was chosen and his mural, at a cost of $1,600, would measure 6 foot by 9 inches wide by 13 and ½ feet tall.

St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital was dedicated on May 16, 1954. The chapel was dedicated with a pontifical low Mass on October 15, 1955 by Bishop William A. O’Connor of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois as the presider.

Biography of Artist: Professor Joseph August (Sepp) Frank (1889-1970)

Professor Frank, born on August 28, 1889 in Miesbach, Germany, mostly lived in Neustadt on the Aisch and Feldafing and studied at the Munich Academy of Visual Arts. Besides being a portrait, landscape, graphic, and mural artist, he also developed Exlibris (book owner’s identification labels). Most significantly, he designed stained glass for the Munich Cathedral, Marian Church in Limburg on the Lahn, St. Otto Church in Bamberg, Church of St. Gabriel in Munich, St. Agatha Church in Dulmen-Rorup, and for the administrative building of the DeGussa GmbH in Herne-Wanne-Eickel. While much of his art in Germany was partly destroyed in World War II, the Effingham hospital chapel mural remains on display. Professor Frank died on February 20, 1970 in Munich.

Narrative Regarding Mural

The mural depicts the crucified Jesus Christ on Calvary (in Hebrew the word Calvary is Golgotha and it is called, the hill of the skull). The chapel mural also depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary (left) and St. John (right) and St. Mary Magdalene (kneeling). The letters “INRI” are initials in Latin, the official language of the Roman Empire, for the title “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum” (Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews). “Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross...it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, ‘Do not write The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am the King of the Jews.’ Pilate answered, ‘What I have written, I have written.’” (John 19:19-22)

Our Healing Garden
St. Anthony's ministry of healing continues with an outdoor healing garden for our patients, visitors, and staff. This therapeutic environment provides an area of sanctuary and solace for all who wish to visit it, whether they are a patient here or a community member who needs a quiet place for contemplation. Utilizing a harmonious balance between body and mind, The Healing Garden is designed to stimulate one's visual and auditory senses through the choice of plants, sound, and color.

With a pleasing array of perennials, shrubbery, and trees, the garden can be enjoyed throughout the seasons. The Healing Garden is located in the area between the southeast building and the Chapel. The Healing Garden includes a winding, wheelchair-accessible path, benches and lush plants to ensure privacy and serenity for those visiting the area.

The winding pathway has different size bricks called pavers, bordering the path. The pavers can be engraved to honor or memorialize a family member, friend, or loved one. Your gift provides lasting recognition of someone special for others to observe and enjoy along the path that signifies our commitment to the ministry of healing: a healing of body, mind and spirit.
Commemorative Paver Program
Pavers are now being placed in the walkway/landscaping area across from the entrance to the Prairie Heart Institute. Gifts can provide lasting recognition of someone special for others to observe and enjoy as St. Anthony’s continues its ministry of healing; a healing of body, mind, and spirit. Consider making a contribution to commemorate a birth, “in memory of…,” anniversary or your family name. Paver orders are placed in March and late August each year.

Contact Information 
Michael Wall, Director of Philanthropy
TEL: 217-347-1854
Prayer requests
The Hospital Sisters of St. Francis are women who have dedicated their lives to and for the love of Christ Jesus, and to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Send your requests for prayer to our Sisters and they will lift you and your loved one up in prayer.