A Space Designed for Quiet and Reflection

Set within the hustle and bustle of a busy pediatric hospital, a space devoted to serenity and reflection is being planned for the new Packard Children’s expansion. The new chapel is designed to welcome people from all religions, supporting the hospital community’s diverse spiritual care needs.

“It will be a public space, open to all faith traditions,” says the Rev. Carolyn Glauz-Todrank, the director of Chaplaincy Services at Packard Children’s. “It will also be a sacred space that patients, families, and staff can use for their own religious practices and spiritual needs.”

The design will incorporate some commonalities among different faiths, such as a sense of peacefulness and a connection to nature, she says. It will be located between the original hospital and the new extension, and will feature a glass wall looking out to the enclosed meditation garden. A nearby doorway will allow easy access to the outdoors, where private meditation niches and secluded nooks will be framed by hedges for privacy and quiet.

“The space is designed to be simple, beautiful, and welcoming, to accommodate the diverse religious and cultural practices of our patients and families,” Glauz-Todrank says. “We want all visitors to feel welcome to pray, meditate, or sit quietly with family, and find their own way to reflect.”

Like many other aspects of the Packard Children’s, the chapel is designed for adaptability and flexibility. It will hold about 35 chairs that can be used for family gatherings or group ceremonies, and the space can then be reconfigured to open up the floor for prayer rugs or smaller groups. A small adjacent area can be used for small groups as well. The chapel will also contain a niche dedicated to the sacred texts and scriptures of the major religions in several languages.

“The hospital chaplaincy provides an important service for families,” Glauz-Todrank adds. “It is part of how we provide care to the whole patient—body, mind, and spirit. Attending to the whole person facilitates healing and is an important component of family-centered care.”

The hospital chapel will be a beautiful retreat that will offer patients, families, visitors, and employees quiet refuge for individual prayer, meditation, or communal worship—no matter what faith tradition they come from.


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