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Spiritual Care

  • Chaplain Larisa Waya


    Through all stages of cancer treatment and survivorship, our staff at the Department of Spiritual Care is available 24 hours a day to provide emotional and spiritual support for adult and pediatric patients and family members.

  • Who we are

    Spirituality can be a great source of strength, connection, hope, and meaning as you and your family cope with cancer and its impact on your lives.

    We are here to listen and to help guide you, regardless of your spiritual or religious beliefs, by talking about your unique story, faith issues, ethical concerns, and ways to think about this life-changing experience. We can also help with other challenges you may be facing.

    Our chaplains are clinically trained and represent a variety of perspectives, including Buddhist, Islamic, Jewish, Protestant, Roman Catholic, and other faiths. We also work closely with chaplains from Brigham and Women's Hospital to provide continuity of care for our adult inpatients, and with Boston Children's Hospital for our younger inpatients.

    Whether you are seeking emotional support, spiritual counsel, prayer, or a sacrament, you and your family are welcome to contact us before, during, and after treatment. You may also visit the Dana-Farber chapel whenever you need a place for quiet prayer, reflection, or meditation.

    Services and programs we provide include:

    • Emotional and spiritual support
    • Meditation
    • Eucharistic ministry
    • Prayer, sacred readings, sacraments
    • Assistance in obtaining kosher meals
    • Faith-specific and interfaith services in our chapel
    • Guidance in addressing ethical matters
    • Contacts with community clergy at your request
    • Devotional materials, including literature, rosaries, yarmulkes, prayer rugs, and prayer shawls
    • Sacred texts in a variety of traditions and languages
    • Shared Journeys, a monthly faith-sharing and support group for women

    Religious and Spiritual Observances

    We recognize and celebrate significant religious and spiritual observances of all traditions at Dana-Farber. If you would like to recognize a holy day, request a particular service or ritual, or find out what will be offered in the chapel, please contact the director the Center for Spiritual Care, Rev. Dr. Walter Moczynski, DMin, at 617-632-3908 or email walter_moczynski@dfci.harvard.edu.

  • Shared Journeys is an interfaith dinner and discussion series for women patients of Dana-Farber, providing a supportive, non-judgmental space for women to share their sacred stories. Each session focuses on a particular spiritual theme and includes a speaker or activity, followed by small-group discussion and sharing. There is no cost for this event; buffet dinner and parking are included. Space is limited, so please register by calling Dana-Farber Spiritual Care at 617-632-5778.

    All sessions take place once a month on a Wednesday evening from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

    If you have questions, please call Rev. Dr. Walter Moczynski, Director, Center for Spiritual Care, at 617-632-3908.

    Watch a video about our Shared Journeys Retreat for Cancer Patients.

  • Shared Journeys - Day Session is an interfaith series for women patients and their caregivers of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Dana-Farber affiliated sites, creating a supportive, non-judgmental space for women and their caregivers to explore one’s spirituality.

    Each session will focus on a spiritual theme and includes light refreshments followed by time for group discussion. This is a one hour drop-in session, but registration is encouraged. 

    All sessions are offered on the second Thursday of the month from 10 am - 11 am in the Dana building, 2L floor, (two floors down) Room DAL 201.

    To register contact Chaplain Larisa Waya at 617-632-3296 or  larisa_waya@dfci.harvard.edu.

    Questions may be directed to Rev. Dr. Walter Moczynski, Director Center for Spiritual Care: 
    walter_moczynski@dfci.harvard.edu
    or 617-632-3908.

  • Men’s Spirituality - Challenges and Hopes is an interfaith series for male patients of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, creating a supportive, non-judgmental space for men to discuss their life challenges and hopes while dealing with cancer and recovery. Each session will focus on a spiritual theme and include a speaker or activity, followed by time for small group discussions.

    Sessions are held once a month on a Wednesday 3 pm - 4 pm. Space is limited, so please remember to register at no cost and parking will be included.

    To register, and for dates and locations, contact Fr. Dr. Yaroslav Nalysnyk at 617-632-3906 or email yaroslav_nalysnyk@dfci.harvard.edu.

    Series Facilitator: Fr. Dr. Yaroslav Nalysnyk, Dana-Farber Chaplain

    Questions may be directed to Rev. Dr. Walter Moczynski, Director of Center for Spiritual Care: walter_moczynski@dfci.harvard.edu or 617-632-3908.

  • Every Thursday from 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. in the Dana-Farber Chapel on Yawkey 2, by Fr. Yaroslav Nalysnyk, Dana-Farber Chaplain. All are welcome.

  • Dana-Farber chaplain Walter Moczynski is director of the Center for Spiritual Care, a large, multifaceted program for patients, families, and staff members. He is also a field education supervisor for Harvard Divinity School, where some of Dana-Farber’s interns study. Dr. Moczynski answers five questions about spirituality.

  • Support Spiritual Care

    To learn more about the many ways you can support Dana-Farber's spiritual care program with a philanthropic gift, please contact Rebecca Freedman at 617-632-4215 or rebecca_freedman@dfci.harvard.edu.