Spiritual Care Team

Spiritual Care Team


Reverend Jose (Joe) ColonReverend Jose (Joe) Colon

Rev. Joe, the Spiritual Care Team Manager, is an ordained United Church of Christ minister. He also serves as an on-call consultant for Spanish-speaking patients for Crouse Hospital. He holds two Master’s degrees,  A Master of Divinity from Colgate Crozer Divinity School, and Master in Social Work (specializing in family therapy) from Fordham University. Reverend Joe is an expert on disaster response and first responder trauma, and has lectured on these subjects. He has published articles on “Chaplaincy and Mental Health and Hospital Operational Debriefing.” He has completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Upstate Medical. In his spare time he enjoys reading and spending time with his family and two rescue dogs.

Chaplain Rhonda Chester, MDIV

Chaplain Rhonda is a licensed local pastor with the United Methodist Church and is currently appointed as the United Methodist Ecumenical Chaplain at Syracuse University. Rhonda discovered the concept of Clinical Pastoral Education while pursuing her Masters of Divinity degree at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, OK. “When I graduated seminary, I knew exactly what I was being called to do.” Rhonda completed her first unit of Level 1 CPE at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO. Thereafter, she completed two chaplain residency programs at Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City and St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, Missouri.
“The ministry of presence and spiritual companionship are sacred gifts we’ve been given. COVID-19 reveals our collective vulnerabilities and if it is in our interest, we get to tap into our own vulnerability and resilience and journey with others as they discover their vulnerability and resilience. This is holy work.”
As a chaplain here at St. Joseph’s, Rhonda is back in her element. She uses her understanding of Practical Theology, Death and Dying, Grief and Loss, and Storytelling to guide her spiritual care practice to patients, families, and colleagues. Rhonda’s favorite roles outside of chaplaincy include mothering, creative writing/blogging, and public speaking. Reading inspirational literature and coloring is how she relaxes. Watching well-written TV shows and movies is her guilty pleasure.

Rev. Heather McDougall-WalshRev. Heather McDougall-Walsh

Rev. Heather McDougall-Walsh, BCC, CCISM is an elder in full connection of the Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church. Heather graduated from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois with a Master of Divinity. She completed 4 units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Heather’s special area of interest includes critical incident stress management. She is certified in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) through the Internal Critical Incident and Stress Management Foundation (ICISF). In addition to CISM she continues to develop special areas of interest in medical ethics, bereavement, and behavioral health. “Storytelling, both the stories we tell and the stories that are given to us through faith traditions often provide a rich foundation for exploring themes of grief, loss, resiliency, hope, and meaning. The stories we tell, as well as those we choose not to tell help us to explore meaning, hope, and resiliency amid illness/life challenges.” Heather enjoys journeying alongside others to explore the meaning of stories while keeping on the lookout for hope and resiliency. “The audacity to hope in the midst of being spiritual beings having a human experience is God’s greatest gift to us”. Heather serves as a chaplain in the emergency department, mother/baby, labor & delivery, neonatal intensive care, and the psychiatric unit. On her sabbath time Heather loves spending time with her family, kayaking, golfing and reading/studying.

Sister Adelbert DurantSister Adelbert Durant

Sister Adelbert Durant is a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities and a Catholic Chaplain in St Joseph Health. Sister is a 2015 Graduate of the 4 year program in Catholic Biblical Studies. She received an all-paid trip to Israel in 2012 for biblical studies. She has completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Sisters Hospital in Buffalo, NY in 2011. She participated in the Level I and Level 2 Healing Touch Program in 2013 and in 2015 respectively. Sister Adelbert has ministered in many different positions in St. Joseph Hospital Health Care Center: She joined the Spiritual Care Department in 2006 as a Chaplain on the Cardiac Units and Telemetry Units. Sister was trained in ENLEC and joined the Palliative Care Team as a Chaplain on the Oncology Units and the Urology / Renal Units. Before chaplaincy Sister was trained, certified and commissioned as a Patient Advocate in the Emergency Department in 2004. Sister has worked at St. Joseph’s health since 2001 in many roles, including as an administrative assistant at the Personal Resource Psychotherapy Center in Syracuse and the secretary to the Director of Seminarian Formation for the Diocese of Syracuse, 19881995. She has a Bachelor Degree and a Master Degree in Elementary Education with a Permanent Certification in Elementary School Administration and Supervision. Sister received the Diocese of Syracuse permanent certification in Religious Education. She was an elementary and junior high teacher in the Syracuse Catholic System and elementary and junior high teacher in the Religious Education Programs of the Parishes. In her spare time she enjoys reading, walking, traveling, going to movies and being with friends.

Father Severine P. YagazaFather Severine P. Yagaza 

Severine P Yagaza is a native of Tanzania in East Africa. He is an ordained Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Syracuse (USA). While a chaplain at St. Joseph Hospital, he is also the pastor at St. Vincent de Paul and Blessed Sacrament in Syracuse, New York. He is also a priest on-call at Crouse and Upstate Medical Hospitals in their downtown and Community campuses. Fr. Severine holds a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D) from Binghamton University, and is also a graduate of Upstate Medical Hospital Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training program where he interned in pediatric, cardiology, palliative care, outpatient clinic, and emergency department (ER). As a chaplain at St. Joseph Hospital, Fr. Severine ministers in assigned patients’ units as well as sacramental ministry throughout the hospital.

Eucharistic Ministers

At St. Joseph Hospital, we are blessed to have dedicated and devoted women and men who give their valuable time to distribute Holy Communion to our Catholic patients and families throughout the week.

Eucharistic Ministers