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CLEVELAND (RNS) In days long gone, Roman Catholic priests regularly made deathbed house calls, even in the middle of the night with little notice, to pray over the dying and anoint them with holy oils. The candlelight ritual, popularly known as last rites, continues in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice houses and private homes. But it […]

3 Comments

  1. How sad. I just finished reading the life of Pere Lamy and am reading another about Pope St. Pius X. Both priests gave themselves completely to their flock to administer sacraments and assist them in any way possible. Pope Pius X often pawned his bishop ring to obtain funds for people in need, ate simply, and lived always as a poor servant of his flock. Pere Lamy taught catechism, housed orphans, heard confessions, and worked himself to the bone on less than 4 hours of sleep per night. Where are our priests? Do they care about the salvation of souls anymore? They delegate administration of the sacraments to lay people. It makes me weep when I see the condition of the Church today as opposed to the Church of 50 years ago when I was growing up. There was reverence and devotion then, dedication to duty, self-denial and altruism. Poor Jesus.

  2. The worst of all this is that so many young and middle-aged people have fallen away from the Faith. Fortunate is the older Catholic whose children know enough to call the priest to give the Sacrament of the Sick to someone in a hospital or nursing home, or at home. Some hospitals no longer ask your religious preference. Recently a dear friend was taken to ER and admitted. Her parish priest would not go out because it was not within his boundaries. I had a dickens of a time getting a priest from the area where the hospital was located. Fortunately there are a couple of religious Orders of priests who will go anywhere, any time, day or night, to anoint a person, no matter how far away. We need to get back to the time when the priest was “on call” at all times for the Faithful.

  3. I am one of the lucky ones to be aware that the sacrament in question is for the sick as well the dying. My priest will administer it to me the day before my surgery. I would never let fear deprive me of this opportunity. I hope those who are just now finding out about it will also be fortunate enough to ask for it when ill.