Chaplaincy Services at Sibley Memorial Hospital

Nurse holding hand of a patient

The Department of Chaplaincy Services at Sibley Memorial Hospital has a rich and outstanding history with more than 50 years of dedicated service. The richness of this tradition is tied to Sibley’s founding as a Methodist hospital at the end of the 19th century.

The chapel is located on the first floor of the Main Hospital, next to the main elevators. The interfaith chapel is open 24 hours a day for prayer, meditation and solace. All are welcome. Patients can tune in to channel 67 for a broadcast in any inpatient hospital room.

Channel 58 - Jewish Life TV, Channel 59 - TBN (Christian Television Network) and Channel 60 - EWTN (Catholic-themed programming) are also available for viewing.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, services have been postponed.

Our Services

Chaplains and nurses standing and smiling

The department is committed to providing spiritual and emotional support to patients, their families and the staff of the hospital. As part of a holistic team, we promote the spiritual care of persons as an essential dimension of the total care and services provided by Sibley. Our dedicated chaplains provide spiritual support to people of all faith traditions and are readily available in the hospital to visit your room for spiritual counsel, prayer, emotional support or a nonjudgmental presence while you work through any worries or concerns that may arise during hospitalization. We are respectful of cultural, spiritual and linguistic traditions and encourage patient’s personal clergy to visit and pray with them.

The chaplains at Sibley Memorial Hospital are professionally trained through the Clinical Pastoral Education program in healthcare ministry. Among the services we provide are:

  • Spiritual assessments and visits to patients on clinical units
  • Bereavement support, prayers and blessings for patients, families and staff
  • Faith-specific resources such as Bibles, Korans, Shabbat candles, prayer books and other devotional resources and material
  • Consultation assistance and presence as part of the Interdisciplinary Team
  • Chapel services
  • Rituals such as:
    • Emergency baptisms
    • Anointing of the Sick and Eucharist for patients
    • Participation in other interfaith group rituals and traditions

We are available for all faith groups and know the importance of spirituality in wellness and critical moments of life’s transitions. You do not have to be religious to request chaplaincy services. Our department sees spirituality and pastoral care as the need for all people to find meaning and purpose in life, which can be expressed in many ways.

Contact Us

To contact a member of our staff, please call the Chaplaincy Services Office at 202-537-4084 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. After 5 p.m., an on-call chaplain is available overnight to respond to any urgent requests. During these hours, request the hospital’s communication operator to page the on-call chaplain. Our response time may take up to one hour, as we are not usually in the hospital overnight.

Clinical Pastoral Education Program

This educational-theological program focuses on pastoral formation, competence and reflection. The CPE program is the first step for earning chaplain certification in any of the national cognate groups.

People forget what you kept, but they will never forget what you gave.


Chaplaincy Services Team

Chaplaincy care team

The chaplains at Sibley seek to be inclusive in the way they provide emotional-spiritual care to those in need of chaplaincy services. They embrace every opportunity to listen, sit, pray in silence or aloud and encourage the persons who have requested chaplaincy services.

The team includes a director, two part-time chaplains, an administrative assistant and volunteer clergy. Our volunteer clergy serve various faith groups within the hospital. They include Roman Catholic priests and Eucharistic ministers, Jehovah Witnesses ministers, a rabbi and clergy from various Protestant traditions.

Every effort is made to contact faith representatives of other groups upon patient or family request.

The team has specialized training that includes ongoing research to keep us viable in the field of spiritual care. As a part of a transformative hospital that seeks to invite the spiritual practitioner to the table, our team is honored to help connect scientific findings with spiritual discoveries in order to provide a more holistic form of health care.

The chaplaincy care team plans and leads worship and special services along with symposiums designed to educate the community. The group is present, caring, available and ready to journey with patients, staff, family and visitors to the hospital. Feel free to attend one of the programs or to call upon us for assistance. It is our pleasure to serve you.

About Reverend Sheila McNeil-Lee

Reverend Sheila C. McNeill-Lee

The Reverend Sheila C. McNeill-Lee serves as the director of chaplaincy services at Sibley Memorial Hospital, which is a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Chaplain McNeill-Lee is a board certified chaplain with the national Association of Professional Chaplains. Following a career in project management and public relations, Chaplain McNeill-Lee completed her seminary degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

At Sibley she is responsible for integrating spirituality into medicine for the holistic care of the patient and directing the department and its ministry activities to patients, families and staff. This includes special liturgical programs, as well as management and supervision of the clinical pastoral education (CPE) program as an Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) supervisor. In the CPE program, she trains and supervises students in the development of skills for pastoral-spiritual care.

Chaplain McNeill-Lee has been honored as an Emerging Leader within ACPE. The award recognizes those who have been a member for 10 years or less and have made outstanding contributions to the ACPE community through their initiative, innovation or leadership at the local hospital center, regional or national levels of the association. Her previous career assignments in Washington, D.C., included serving as staff chaplain at the Hospital for Sick Children and the National Rehabilitation Hospital, and chaplain resident, ACPE supervisor and coordinator of clinical pastoral education at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

Chaplain McNeill-Lee has supervised and provided pastoral-spiritual care insights and consultation to chaplain interns, chaplain residents and chaplains. She serves as a member of Sibley's Research Review Committee, Ethics Committee and the Patient and Family Advisory Council.