The Johns Hopkins Hospital Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy
The Bunting Interfaith Chapel remains open 24 hours a day for people of all faiths to utilize for prayer and quiet reflection.
The Johns Hopkins Hospital offers comprehensive, inter-faith spiritual support to patients, their friends and families, and employees of the hospital and the surrounding outpatient areas. Each of our staff chaplains are Board Certified through the Association for Professional Chaplains. Each of our per-diem chaplains have completed a minimum of four units of Clinical Pastoral Education.
In addition to our team of professional chaplains, we have CPE Educators and faith-specific ministries that offer ministry to our hospital. Specifically, the department has a Jewish chaplain, an Episcopal chaplain, and a Catholic-Priest chaplain. If our team cannot meet a particular spiritual request, the department will reach out to the Baltimore community to determine if religious resources are available.
A chaplain is on the JHH campus 24/7 and available to respond to both urgent and non-urgent requests. Many utilize a chaplain for:
- Careful and sensitive listening
- Encouragement and comfort
- Discussion of concerns around difficult healthcare decisions or new diagnosis
- Emotional support in times of grief, loss, and stress
- Exploration of hope and meaning
- Religious rituals that may include baptism, communion, confession, blessing, reading of scripture, and anointing
- End of life discussions and support
- Provision of sacred literature and devotional items
- Assistance with religious/dietary observances
To leave a message for one of our team members, call 410-955-5842, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please call 410-955-4331 for any urgent needs for spiritual care. Or, for any patient or family member, you can ask your nurse to contact a chaplain for you.
There are several sacred spaces that are available for quiet reflection and prayer at all times.
The Bunting Interfaith Chapel:
Main Level Zayed Building (entrance in Bloomberg Building)
Weinberg Meditation Room:
1st Floor Weinberg Lobby
Viragh Meditation Room:
Viragh Building, Main Level
The Christ Statue (Divine Healer):
Billings Administration Building Lobby
Reflection Koi Pond (outdoors):
Between Peterson Courtyard and Phipps Building
Jewish Hospitality Suite:
Blalock 175 (Kosher food and religious books available)
The Johns Hopkins Hospital provides weekly worship services and around-the-clock pastoral care. Your own clergy person, faith community leader or spiritual counselor is also welcome in the hospital.
A listing of services in local Catholic parishes may be found on the Archdiocese of Baltimore website. Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy staff (410-955-5842) can also can also give you information about the most convenient parishes to the hospital campus.
The Sunday Mass will be held at 1:00 pm in the Bunting Family Interfaith Chapel, as will the Mass on Wednesday at 12 noon.
Monday through Thursday at 1:10 p.m. in the Jewish Hospitality Suite, Blalock 175, which is open at all times to patients and family members in need of quiet space and kosher snacks. Bikur Cholim, a volunteer auxiliary service, provides this ministry.
Kosher meal offerings are available in the Cobblestone Café retail area. Additionally, patients and guests visiting in patient rooms may order kosher meals by calling 410-502-3663, no later than 6 p.m. (6:30 p.m. for patients).
Please reach out to the Jewish Chaplain for updated information for the Minyan: 410-955-8538.
Congregational Muslim prayer on Fridays at 12:30-1pm and 1:30-2pm in the Bunting Family Interfaith Chapel.
Mr. Thomas Y. (Ty) Crowe, II, M.Div., B.C.C.
Director of Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy
He is an ordained teacher in the Shadhiliyya Sufi Order, and is a certified ACPE Educator. Prior to coming to The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Ty served as Coordinator of Clinical Pastoral Education at Sutter Medical Center, in Sacramento, California, for four years and was a part-time chaplain for the Sutter Center for Psychiatry. He has supervised CPE students at Baptist Health in Jacksonville, Florida; at Vitas Hospice in Ormond Beach, Florida; and at Tallahassee Memorial in Tallahassee. Ty has a particular interest in chaplaincy research and quality improvement, and is a Board Certified Chaplain through the Association of Professional Chaplains.
Rev. Matt Norvell, DMin., M.S., B.C.C.
Pediatric Chaplain and Clinical Manager
Rev. Matt Norvell is the Clinical Manager in the Department of Spiritual Care and the director of the RISE (Resilience In Stressful Events) peer support team which provides trained peer support for employees who encounter stressful, work-related events at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Before becoming director of the RISE team, Matt served for 10 years as the first Board Certified Chaplain for the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. Before that role he served for five years as the family and staff bereavement support member of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center pediatric palliative care program.
The Rev. Rhonda S. Cooper, M.Div., B.C.C.
Chaplain of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
The Chaplain of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and an ordained clergy member of The Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. She graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, and holds a master of divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. She served as a pastor for 15 years before becoming a hospital chaplain, and is a Board Certified Chaplain through the Association of Professional Chaplains.
The Rev. Ignatius Okoye, OFM, Cap.
Catholic Priest Chaplain
Rev. Ignatius Okoye is the Catholic Chaplain for the hospital. He is a Catholic religious priest, currently on mission to the Capuchin Franciscan Order, of the Province Saint Augustine, Pittsburgh PA. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dominican Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Ibadan, Nigeria ( University of Ibadan), and Bachelor of Theology from the Bigard Memorial Seminary Enugu, Nigeria (Urban University, Rome). Rev. Ignatius served as an associate pastor and youth chaplain for 5 years before relocating to the US in 2021. He completed his level 1 Clinical Pastoral Education at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2022, which prepared him for hospital ministry.
Rev. Sally Pelinka Miller, M.A., M.Div., B.C.C.
Manager of the System Sponsored Clinical Pastoral Education Program
Manager of the System Sponsored Clinical Pastoral Education Program for the Johns Hopkins Academic Division. Rev. Miller is an ACPE Certified Educator who comes to John’s Hopkins from Northwestern Medicine’s Central DuPage Hospital. Prior to her work at Northwestern, Miller served as a chaplain and Educator with AdvocateAurora Health’s Good Samaritan, Good Shepherd, Sherman and Condell Hospitals.
As a freelance writer and former music teacher, Miller draws on her experiences in the arts to espouse creativity and improvisation in both clinical and learning environments. During her time with Northwestern and Advocate, she regularly facilitated staff resiliency retreats. These retreats utilized poetry, music, video and other generative self-care invitations for play, reflection, rest and rejuvenation. Miller’s pedagogical and methodological approaches are informed by her acquaintance with enneagrammatic theory and complementary modalities such as guided meditation, engagement with the imaginal, as well as with labyrinths and mandalas.
Miller is ordained by the United Church of Christ. She is a published author with a handful of inspirational books and articles. She continues focused work and study in the field of complementary modalities. She is also interested in neuroaesthetics and trauma care. Rev. Miller holds graduate degrees in theology with a focus on Jungian theory from Chicago Theological Seminary, and in music with an emphasis in voice from Northwestern University.
The Rev. John V.P.R. Ponnala, M.A., B.D., B.C.C.
Family Advocate Coordinator and Surgery Chaplain
The Family Advocate Coordinator and Surgery Chaplain, is an ordained Lutheran minister of the Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church of India, and is a Board Certified Chaplain through APC. John holds a masters of arts degree in history, and a bachelor of divinity degree from the Ecumenical Seminary of The United Theological College in Bangalore, India. He also holds a diploma in the Ecumenical Movement from the Bossey Ecumenical Institute of the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland, and advocates for the Dalit people (“untouchables”) of India. John serves as the Area Certification Chair for Association of Professional Chaplains, which includes Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well as serving as a commission member of the Board of Certification of Chaplaincy Inc.
The Rev. Kat Kowalski, M.Div., B.C.C.
Neonatal ICU Chaplain and Perinatal Palliative Care Support
Serves as the Neonatal ICU Chaplain in the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, providing care to the very youngest hospital patients and their families. She is a valued member of the pediatric team with expertise in perinatal palliative care and ministry. An ordained interfaith minister, Kat received a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and women's studies from University of Maryland at College Park, and was awarded the master of divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry (Berkeley, California). The video Holding Space: Palliative Care in the NICU highlights Kat's work.
Rabbi Naftali Rabinowitz
Serves as the Jewish Chaplain for the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Rabbi Rabinowitz received his graduate level degree in Talmudic Law from Ner Israel Rabbinical College in Baltimore, Maryland. He completed a Clinical Pastoral Education chaplain residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2021, preparing him to respond to the needs of people of all faiths and religious backgrounds within Judaism. Rabbi Rabinowitz works closely with Bikur Cholim of Baltimore staff and volunteers to meet the needs of Jewish patients in the hospital. He was born in Jerusalem, Israel, a member of the Hasidic sect of Orthodox Judaism, and relocated with his family to Baltimore at the age of eight. He is fluent in English, Hebrew and Yiddish.
Moira Bucciarelli, MTS, BCC
Outpatient Oncology Chaplain
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
Serves patients with cancer and their caregivers in the ambulatory settings at Johns Hopkins Weinberg and Viragh buildings, Bayview and Green Spring Station. Moira has been trained in compassion-based spiritual care at Emory University as a spiritual health fellow in outpatient oncology. She graduated with a bachelor of arts from Oberlin College, and earned a masters’ in theological studies from Boston College. She is recently board certified with the National Association of Catholic Chaplains. She previously worked as a writer and editor in spirituality, biblical studies, and religion.
Emotional and Spiritual Support
People often turn to a Higher Power for comfort and support during treatment. When you are ill, you may want to pray with a chaplain. Chaplains can provide emotional and spiritual support while you are in the hospital, by:
- Listening with respect and without judgment
- Facilitating discussion of difficult events
- Providing partnership in prayer
- Offering comfort in times of distress and anxiety
- Respecting your religious traditions and spiritual practices
- Supporting your family and friends
Religious Rituals and Resources
At The Johns Hopkins Hospital, you will have access to:
- Scheduled worship services
- Resources such as Bibles, rosaries, and Shabbat candles
- Sacraments and rituals (baptisms, blessings, naming ceremonies, Holy Communion, Annointing of the Sick, Sacrament of Reconciliation)
- Assistance with completing an advance directive/living will
- Conversations about end-of-life decisions