"The ones that are really helpful understand the importance of care at the time of death, and have been understanding that for us as Catholics, actual sacramental contact at the time of death is really important. And they've been understanding of that reality, and have provided us what we need to be able to do that."
Cozzens encouraged other local Churches wanting to create their own anointing teams to consult with medical experts and make sure the priests are well trained in what they are being asked to do.
"Having a professional and consistent approach has been the key to hospitals letting us in," he said.
Father Joseph Gifford, associate pastor of Church of All Saints in Lakeville typically serves as a nursing home chaplain.
His ministry as a chaplain normally would consist of celebrating Mass for the Catholic residents at four or five area nursing homes once or twice a month. In addition, Father Gifford would normally often be called to hear confessions and administer the anointing of the sick to residents.
Father Gifford said he is glad that it is he- as All Saints' parochial vicar- who is tasked with anointing COVID-positive patients, and not his pastor.
"That way, my pastor can see the non-COVID-19 patients who are still in danger of death for all the other reasons," he said.
"In my short experience as a priest, I can always look forward to going and saying Mass at the nursing home, and it's going to be the same people," adding that he looks forward to "getting to know them better, and share life and share God with them."
Father Gifford was a trained singer before he entered the seminary, and told CNA he has used his gift of singing to entertain residents at the nursing homes he serves at by singing to them outside their windows.
In addition, since no one currently can visit the area nursing homes in person, All Saints parish has set up a "calling tree" of staff members and volunteers in order to regularly check on parishioners over 65.
He says he most misses the in-person interaction with the residents, and looks forward to the opportunity once more to talk with the residents in person.
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The archdiocese has also set up a site where Catholics can commit to daily prayer for health care workers.
The Archdiocese of Boston also has assembled anointing teams of priests. In that local Church, the priests are housed together in strategic locations close to hospitals.
Throughout the country, chaplains at hospitals and nursing homes have had to adapt their ministry to protect the elderly and those at greatest risk of contracting COVID-19.
Father Hugh Vincent Dyer, a Dominican priest in New York, took up residence in the nursing home where he has served as chaplain since December 2019. There are about 360 elderly residents at the nursing home, not all of them Catholic, the Federalist reports.
To continue to minister while keeping his distance, Father Dyer has been broadcasting Mass, the rosary, and meditations from the facility's chapel via closed-circuit television.
He also has been using the CCTV system to screen films, some of which he has found "can trigger forgotten memories and fascinating stories."