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Diversity and Health

UMass Memorial Medical Center Spiritual and Pastoral Services

UMass Memorial Medical Center Spiritual and Pastoral Services - Pastoral care is available 24/7 to provide spiritual care for patients, their families and their friends.  Pastoral care strives to provide timely access to spiritual and pastoral care for all, either by direct service of staff chaplains or by networking with Worcester-area religious and spiritual representatives of all faith groups and denominations.

Recommended Resources



  • Podcast
  • Documentary: Extremis - Witness the wrenching emotions that accompany end-of-life decisions as doctors, patients and families in a hospital ICU face harrowing choices. A short film on Netflix.


  • The Journal of Religion and Health - explores the most contemporary modes of religious and spiritual thought with particular emphasis on their relevance to current medical and psychological research.

Guides & Pathfinders


Religious Demographics

eligious composition of adults in Massachusetts: 58% Christian, 9% Non-Christian Faiths; 32% Unaffiliated

- Pew Research Center

More about the Relgious Landscape Study: Massachusetts from Pew Research Center


Book: The art of happiness : a handbook for living by the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler (1998)


Article: "End of Life Care Practices for Hindu Patients During COVID-19" from Chandratre and Soman in Journal of Palliative Care (2022) 


Article: "Muslim patients in Ramadan: A review for primary care physicians" from Heba Abolaban and Ahmad Al-Moujahed in Avicenna journal of medicine (2017) 

Article: "Providing Culturally Appropriate Care to American Muslims With Cancer" from Fatma Zohra Mataoui and Lisa Kennedy Sheldon in Clinical journal of Oncology nursing (2016)


Caring for a Jewish Patient – A Guide for Medical Professionals - Helps to understand some aspects of Jewish faith that might affect the patients’ health.


Sikhism: A Healthcare Worker’s Guide –Issues that Sikh patients might face and recommendations on caring for Sikh patients in a culturally sensitive manner.


Mindfulness in Eight Weeks Meditations - Guided meditations from Mindfulness Works ranging from 5 to 40 minutes.  The meditations can be done standalone, or with the book Mindfulness in Eight Weeks: the revolutionary eight-week plan to clear your mind and calm your life by Michael Chaskalson (2014).