Sr. Edith Menegus: Director of Pastoral Care

Sister Edith Menegus serves as Director of Pastoral Care at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson, New York where she is responsible, on an interfaith basis, for the spiritual well being of the patients, their families, and the staff at St. Charles. She is a member of the hospital leadership team and serves on many committees, including Ethics, Mission & Ministry, Palliative Care, and Patient & Family Advisory Council. Sr. Edith oversees a staff of chaplains, priest chaplains, Pastoral Care Visitors, Spiritual Care Companions, Clinical Pastoral Education students, and Eucharistic Ministers. She visits patients, families, and staff as a board- certified chaplain. She also participates in the New Employee Orientation program and teaches in the Spiritual Care Companions training program.

Sr. Edith is grateful to be a part of the interdisciplinary health care team at St. Charles, bringing the spiritual perspective and her expertise to join with the other disciplines responsible for the care of the patients. She feels privileged to be ministering with such a compassionate and caring staff throughout the hospital.

Sr. Edith’s connection and commitment to St. Charles Hospital goes back many years, before she entered religious life. Her mother, suffering from liver cancer, was a patient at St. Charles in October, 1980. Her father was in another hospital at the same time dealing with stomach cancer. Sr. Edith, an only child, was traveling back and forth between these two hospitals. At St. Charles, the pastoral care presence was lovingly offered by Sr. Martha Winum, a Daughter of Wisdom, and member of the founding congregation of the hospital. Sr. Martha sat with Hilda Menegus whenever Edith was visiting with her father. Sr. Martha was also a comfort to Edith and spent time with her after her mother’s death at St. Charles. This was Edith’s first experience of Pastoral Care and chaplaincy. She hoped that one day she would be able to give such care to someone else in a similar situation. The opportunity arose when she was discerning her ministry path as an Ursuline Sister of Tildonk. She accepted the challenge of becoming a chaplain and has loved the ministry ever since.

Sr. Edith has been a board-certified chaplain since 2002 having attained a Master’s Degree in Theology, completed at least 4 units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), and appeared successfully before the certifying board of a national organization responsible for the certification of chaplains. Her first CPE unit, or internship, was at Griffin Hospital, which embraces the Planetree model (body-mind-spirit connection) of health care, in Derby, Connecticut from 1999-2000. Next came Sr. Edith’s First Year Residency, three units of CPE, at Stamford Hospital, a Level II trauma center, in Stamford, Connecticut from 2000-2001. This was followed by a four-unit Specialty Residency at Calvary Hospital, an acute care facility for terminally ill adult cancer patients with symptoms, in the Bronx from 2001-2002.

Sr. Edith received her Master’s Degree in Theology with a Specialty in Spirituality from the Graduate School of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington in 2001. As part of this degree program Sr. Edith took several courses at Fordham University in the Bronx. She was certified by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains in 2002 and is a member of the Three Village Clergy Association, an interfaith gathering of worship leaders from the Port Jefferson, Setauket, and Stony Brook communities.