Loading
Don’t put off receiving the Sacrament of the Sick, recommends priest
By Christopher M. Riggs

.- Don’t wait until the anesthesiologist is ready to put the mask on you before you think about the Sacrament of the Sick, says Fr. John Hay from the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas. He urges everyone to seek an anointing before they are admitted to a hospital.

“It is a sacrament given to help us bear the suffering – the sickness that we have – to be able to unite that suffering to the suffering of Jesus Christ,” Fr. Hay said.

“And then it’s not suffering for suffering’s sake, it can actually become redemptive. We enter into the suffering of Jesus Christ – and that gives us a new power, a new strength, from the power of his grace, to help us carry our load, our cross, whatever sickness that might be.”

In addition, he said, it can be a comfort for the faithful going into surgery to have already received the sacrament.

Father Hay is the chaplain of the St. Paul Parish Newman Center at Wichita State University but his duties include a part-time chaplaincy of the Wesley Medical Center. Two of the three Catholic hospitals, Via Christi Hospital on North St. Francis and Via Christi Hospital on Harry, have full-time chaplains.

Fr. Hay makes rounds at Wesley twice a week and is on call for emergencies. Because he’s part-time there he asks that Catholics who are going to Wesley to request an anointing from their pastor before they go into surgery. “I can catch them beforehand, but it’s not always the case,” he said. “Oftentimes I’m seeing them after their surgery.”
When people see a priest walking into a room wearing a purple stole and carrying a black case, Fr. Hay said, you’ll often hear them say, “Oh, it must be bad, we had to call the priest.”

That’s not necessarily true, he said. “It doesn’t mean they’re taking their last breath, but that their sickness merits their receiving the sacrament that Jesus has given to his church.”

Jesus instituted the Sacrament of the Sick – just as he instituted the Eucharist, Fr. Hay said.

In Matthew 6:13, he added, “Jesus sent the disciples out. The disciples came back…they had laid their hands on many, they had cured the sick and anointed them with oil.”
Father Hay said the faithful need to understand that receiving the sacrament doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to be cured of their physical ailment, “but it does give them a grace and a strength – if we cooperate, just as we always have to cooperate with God’s grace – if we cooperate, then it’s a new strength to bear that sickness, that illness, whatever that might be.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says in chapter 1514 that the sacrament is not only for those who are dying but for those who are in danger of death, he said.

“Anytime we undergo a surgery and anesthesia is administered, there’s always an outside chance that something could happen,” he said. “Because there is that danger there, that certainly would warrant receiving the sacrament of the sick.”

Father Hay reminded those who are in need or who might be in need to go to their pastor for the sacrament.

“Unlike Padre Pio, who could be in two places at once,” he said, “I can’t!”

Printed with permission from the Catholic Advance, newspaper for the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
24

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Gospel
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »

Saint
Date
04/24/14
04/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Homily
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: