Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven. (James 5:14-15)
In his ministry, Jesus showed immense compassion to those who suffer, but especially to the sick. In Scripture we read how a good deal of Jesus’ ministry was dedicated to the healing of the sick. Matthew 4:23 says “ Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.” In the sending of the apostles to their mission, among other things, Jesus charged them to heal the sick. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “The risen Lord renews this mission (‘in my name…they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover’) and confirms it through the signs that the Church performs by invoking his name.”
The anointing of the sick is intended for those who have a serious illness or are in danger of death. This sacrament is intended to strengthen them, and be conductive to their salvation. This sacrament can be repeated, if the sick person who recovered his/her health, is in the event of another serious illness or if the same illness becomes more serious. This sacrament can be administered at a home, hospital or church. Whenever possible, it is celebrated within the Eucharist, and if possible preceded by the sacrament of Penance.
What a merciful God we have! And what a blessing it is to know of his mercy and love through our Lord, Jesus Christ!
If you or a loved one are currently admitted at a local hospital and wish to receive the sacrament, call the hospital operator and ask to speak to the Catholic Chaplain (this is the person in charge of Catholic activities at the hospital). For further assistance regarding Catholic Hospital Ministry, contact Elizabeth Ramirez:
Director of Hospital Ministry
If you or a loved one are homebound and wish to locate a priest to administer the sacrament, contact your home parish. If unaware of the parishes in your area, click here to find a parish near you.