Ministry Behind a Mask

A Chaplain Reflects upon SARS


  • Bruce Pierce University Health Network



SARS, chaplaincy, healthcare, infection control


The outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which occurred in Canada, notably Toronto, in spring 2003 gave rise to two responses which together have profoundly affected the healthcare environment:_ stringent infection control measures, and fear of an unknown enemy. From his perspective as chaplain resident at Toronto General Hospital, the author describes the chaplaincy response to the ‘new normal’ in hospital life. He identifies the problems created, and stresses the need to adapt to a new healthcare environment ‘behind the mask’.

Author Biography

  • Bruce Pierce, University Health Network

    Bruce Pierce is from the Church of Ireland currently a chaplain resident at Toronto General Hospital, part of the University Health Network.


BMJ 2003 Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome. Editorial, British Medical Journal 326

POUTENAN et al 2003 Identification of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in Canada. New England Journal of Medicine Mar 31

ZAMBON M, NICHOLSON K. 2003. Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome. British Medical Journal 326 : 669 - 670




How to Cite

Pierce, B. (2013). Ministry Behind a Mask: A Chaplain Reflects upon SARS. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 6(2), 32-34.