Tag Archives: Anointing of the Sick

Hugo Chavez received the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick

Venezuela’s President, Hugh Chavez, 56, is suffering from cancer. This has been a diagnosis he’s lived with for more than a month. And while this is not shocking news because many people live with cancer and face their mortality in a new way with such each day. However, I found a Fox News article a bit odd; odd because they found this event newsworthy, something out of the ordinary. I might even say Fox is a bit presumptuous for mentioning it. My reading of the story was that the un-named writer question the intentions of an outspoken president who would approach the sacraments of the Church for the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, that is, to ask God for a cure and a healing. Deo volente. The President’s lived experience with the bishops of his country have reportedly been fragile, but so what. A baptized Catholic has a right to receive the sacraments and to seek forgiveness begging not from the Church but from the Holy Spirit the graces of conversion and healing of body, soul, and spirit regardless of politics. Should we be surprised or consoled that someone would recognize his place before God? Christ came for the sick, not the healthy. The Church is a hospital for the ill, not the well.

St Agatha’s Mass and Anointing of the Sick for those living with breast cancer, East Haven

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We will be gathering to pray the Holy Mass for those living with breast cancer in honor of Saint Agatha, the patron saint of those living with breast cancer.

Saint Agatha’s feast day is February 5 but for pastoral reasons, the liturgical observance will be held on the day before and the after the feast.

No one is without a family member or a friend who has breast cancer.
This is an opportunity to join together in prayer and friendship with those living with ongoing trial –you could say cross– of breast
cancer.

On Friday, February 4, 2011, at the 5:30 pm Mass at Our Lady of Pompeii Church (355 Foxon Road, Route 80, East Haven, CT), Father John Lavorgna will administer the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick invoking the intercession of Saint Agatha.

Let your friends know of this special Mass and anointing service. All are invited and most welcome.

Dwindling pastoral care for the sick

Interesting issues regarding the pastoral care of the sick viz. the numbers of priests available to be sacramentally present. USA Today a story that deserves some attention. Catholics are sacramental people: no priesthood, no sacraments…

On the same page as the story noted above is a video clip of Father Denis Robinson, OSB, Rector of Saint Meinrad Seminary talking about the up-tick of vocations.

Anointing Father John Oetgen

This afternoon the Benedictine monks of Belmont Abbey, with whom I am currently living, gathered in the room of Father John Oetgen to celebrate the Rite of Anointing of the Sick. Father John is one of the senior monks of this monastic community spending a lifetime serving the Lord as a monk, a priest and a professor literature. He’s in 80s and he’s been infirmed for the last 4 months. He’s received this sacrament before, but Father Abbot Placid thought it best to celebrate the sacrament now as Father John has grown weaker in body. What comfort there is when brothers “gather in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ who is present among us” to pray and show affection for a brother.

If you have been present for the sacrament of the sick you know how moving it is. I was moved to tears several times during the rite probably for no other reason than what I was experiencing was a great theology at work: God’s praise and our conversion. While I don’t know Father John well, the humanity of act of gathering in prayer and companionship was beautiful.

The rite, recalling the words of sacred Scripture, remind us that the sick came to Jesus for healing; moreover, we recall that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is what sets us free from sin and death. This is the faith we have professed, this is the faith we gave witness to today with Father John, it is the faith that comforts and sustains Father John.

Addressing the faithful, the Saint James exhorts us to care for the ill in this manner: “Are there any who are sick among you? Let them send for the priests of the Church, and let the priests pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick persons, and the Lord will raise them up; and if they have committed any sins, their sins will be forgiven them.”  This we did and it was beautiful.

With the laying on of hands and prayer, we asked God to grant Father John comfort in his suffering, courage in the face of fear, patience if distressed and hope when sad and the support of the brothers (and all others) when feeling alone. So, I ask you to pray that God will do the loving thing for Father John and to assist the monks here in all ways that Providence sees fit.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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