Pastor Letter – Hospital Visits During COVID-19 – Emailed January 4, 2021

Dear Parishioners,

Because of COVID-19 it has never been easy for me to receive your calls concerning the anointing of the sick and or making a hospital visitation for our parishioners. Truly, I am always concerned about the sick and dying, ministering to them, and responding to your phone calls almost immediately to give consolation and the prayerful support of the sacraments. With COVID all of that has changed.

The Diocese has guided all priests above the age of 60 and or with a compromised health issue to seek out the sacramental help from the younger priests in the area to accomplish the anointing of the sick for patients. So far, I have been able to respond to our parishioners who have requested an anointing by calling upon our younger priests in the area and they have successfully assisted IHM people with their sacramental needs. How wonderful is that?

During this month the Diocese has taken a further step to training 17 priests of our diocese, using PPE, who have volunteered to be COVID 19 ministers, to anoint critically ill COVID patients who are near death. I will be informed shortly as to whom they are.

In the meantime, hoping you stay healthy, but, if you or a loved one DOES have to be admitted to the hospital, please remember to have the nurses stations alerted to the fact that you are a Catholic at IHM Church and would wish that I would be placed on the visitor roster for you.

Apparently the hospitals are now wanting to keep a list of visitors and subsequently would then allow me (or my chosen younger priest) entrance to the hospital after having been informed by you or your family that a sacramental need is necessary in one of our area hospitals.

This “procedure” is only for hospitals at this time. Nursing homes, memory care units, and retirement villages simply do not allow entrance to anyone as of yet.

Many HEALTHY blessings,
Father Jim

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