The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is the Church's sacrament for those who are sick, and is when we pray for God's grace to strengthen someone who is suffering from any form of illness. The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is perhaps the most misunderstood of all the Sacraments - many remember the times when the Sacrament was reserved only for those who were dying. While our theology has not changed, our practice has. Anyone who is facing a serious illness or operation is encouraged to request this Sacrament. However, there is no absolute nor emergency requirement for this Sacrament.
The Church throughout its history has taken a special care to be mindful of the sick. And that is why the Church believes that among the seven sacraments, there is one especially intended to strengthen those who are ill, those who suffer under the burden of years, and those who battle disease that threaten their health.
As Christians, we are invited to look beyond the anguish and despair, that the face of sickness presents to us. It is from this "eye of faith" that Christians can see in their sickness and suffering, something more and greater than the physical and emotional pain which attaches itself to our human frailties which are burdened with illnesses of whatever kind.
And so whenever the Church celebrates this sacrament, either in a hospital, a private home, or in the midst of our Sunday or Daily Eucharist, as we do today, it is the whole Church, the entire Body of Christ, who commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them.
The "miraculous healings" of Jesus announced to the world a more radical healing that was to take place in his victory over sin and death through his Passion. On the cross, Christ took to upon himself the "sins of the world"-- of which sickness are a consequence, and he gave a new meaning to suffering -- a meaning which unfolds before us in the sacrament we celebrate today.
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is celebrated:
Our Lady of the Rosary: First Friday of the month at the 8:30 a.m. Mass
St. Thomas Aquinas: First Friday of the month at the 12:15 p.m. Mass
St. Thomas Aquinas: First Monday of the month at the 7:15 a.m. Mass
Please contact the Pastoral Center (494-2496) to arrange for the Sacrament at another time.