What do I do if someone in my family is ill?
If someone in your family is ill and can not attend Mass you may contact Fr Terry or Fr John to arrange a visit or to receive Holy Communion weekly.
If a member of your family goes to hospital you should ring the hospital and ask for the Catholic Chaplain. Many people in hospitals miss out on a visit from their Catholic Chaplain because most hospitals do not have a good system of referral. Unless you do this your Catholic Chaplain may not know your family member is in hospital.
When someone becomes seriously ill Catholics are encouraged to arrange for a Priest to administer the Sacrament of Anointing.
You may contact the parish Priest, hospital Chaplain, or in emergencies, a Priest from another parish.
What if someone is dying?
When someone is dying their family should contact their parish Priest, hospital Chaplain or ethnic Chaplain to anoint the dying person and give Viaticum (Holy Communion for the Dying - "food for the journey"). Do not delay calling the Priest until it is too late to receive Viaticum.
If no Priest is available a Lay Minister of Holy Communion may bring Viaticum to the dying.
For more information please contact the Parish Office.
Who can be Anointed or receive Viaticum?
All Catholics in danger of death may receive Anointing and Viaticum, including those inactive in the faith, those who are divorced and remarried, and those remarried without the Catholic Church's blessing.
Although only a Priest may anoint, Viaticum may be given by lay people.
A dying person may receive Viaticum each day, and very definitely should receive Viaticum at least once. Do not delay calling the Priest until it is too late to receive Viaticum.
What do we do when someone dies?
When someone dies, day or night, their family is encouraged to contact the Priest if he is available. The Priest may recite prayers for the dead, comfort the family and address any practical matters that arise.
Since Sacraments are for the living members of the Church, the Priest can not anoint or baptise someone who has died.
Even if the family first meets with the funeral director, it is best not to make detailed funeral arrangements until after the Priest is contacted. This includes the day, place and time of the funeral, the kind of liturgy (Funeral Mass or Funeral Service), and the form of committal (burial or cremation). The Priest or his delegate needs to be involved in these decisions.
Cremation is now permitted for Catholics although burial remains the Church's preferred option because of Jesus' own burial.
Usually it is wise to allow at least three days before the funeral. This allows times for family members to grieve, for travel arrangements to be made, and for suitable preparations to be made.
Any member of the Catholic Church may have a Catholic funeral. In certain circumstances baptised Christians who are not Catholic may, if they wish, also have a Catholic funeral, such as when they belong to a largely Catholic family.
Sometimes people find it helpful to deposit information about their proposed funeral arrangements with the Parish Office.