In his lifetime on earth, Jesus constantly showed his love and concern for the sick. The Church continues his mission of mercy through the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
Who should be anointed?
The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is meant for persons in any of these circumstances:
- Seriously ill – either physically or psychologically
- In failing health — whether at home or in a hospital, nursing home, or other care facility
- Suffering from weakened health due to old age
- Preparing for surgery due to a serious illness/accident
Anointing conveys God’s grace to the recipient, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Persons can be anointed more than once, so long as their condition has declined since their last anointing or they recover and then become sick again.
Requesting Anointing of the Sick
To schedule an anointing, please call the Parish Ministry Center at 414-421-2442. This can be done at any time during an illness or for any of the reasons in the list above. You do not need to wait until the person receiving the sacrament is close to death.
Ministering to the Dying
In addition to the Anointing of the Sick, the Church offers those who are about to leave this life the Eucharist as viaticum (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1524).
Anointing is for the sick, and the sacrament of Viaticum is for the dying. Therefore it is important that a person be anointed at the very beginning of an illness, and then receive Holy Communion as Viaticum at the end of their lives.
All sacraments are for the living. Consequently, the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is not given to those already dead. We do recognize that family members have unique needs during this time of grieving, and are happy to help support through this difficult time. St. Alphonsus Parish does host a Bereavement Support Group. Please contact the Parish Ministry Center for more information.