Anointing of the Sick

If you require assistance for yourself or a loved one in receiving immediate consideration of the Anointing Sacrament, please call Father Joe Hannappel or call the church office 308-234-5536 and let them know it is an emergency. Father Joe or Father Art Faesser are able to answer your questions about the Sacrament at any time.

To schedule a funeral Mass, call the office immediately and provide the information you have to the office staff, and the parish priests will provide counsel and help coordinate arrangements.

What is the Anointing of the sick? The Rite of Anointing tells us there is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. A careful judgment about the serious nature of the illness is sufficient. The Sacrament may be repeated if the ill person recovers after the anointing but becomes ill once again, or if, during the same illness, the person's condition becomes more serious. A person should be anointed before surgery when a dangerous illness is the reason for the intervention (cf. Rite of Anointing, Introduction, nos. 8-10).

For those who are about to depart from this life, the Church offers the person Penance, Anointing of the Sick, and the Eucharist as Viaticum (food for the journey) given at the end of life. These are "the sacraments that prepare for our heavenly homeland" (cf. CCC, no. 1525). These rites are highly valued by Catholics as powerful aids to a good death. Since Holy Communion is the effective sign of Christ's Paschal Mystery, it becomes for the recipient the opportunity to unite one's own suffering and dying to that of Christ with the hope of life eternal with him. The special words proper to Viaticum are added: "May the Lord Jesus protect you and lead you to everlasting life. Amen."


What is the appropriate time to ask for the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick?
When possible, ask for the Sacrament of the Sick before you enter the hospital for surgery. It may be possible to be anointed before you are admitted to the hospital. If you do not know in advance that you are being admitted to the hospital, you may ask for the Sacrament after you are admitted. Reminder...the Pastoral Team and Staff at St. James may not know that you have been admitted to the hospital. Please let us know or ask a family member/friend to let us know that you want to have a pastoral visit, receive communion and /or receive the Sacrament of the Sick.

Where is the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick celebrated?
The Sacrament of the Sick may be celebrated in a private home, in a hospital or in a church. When possible, this sacrament should be celebrated among the faith community. It is a communal and liturgical celebration. Sometimes the sacrament is celebrated during the Liturgy of the Eucharist (Mass).

How many times can a person receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick?
A person is invited and encouraged to receive this sacrament anytime he/she has the possibility or reality of serious illness or weakness. A person may receive this sacrament as many times as it is needed. If you are ill, anticipate or are preparing for a medical procedure, or face a serious illness you are encouraged/invited to contact a priest in order to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.

Does a person have to be dying in order to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick?

No. Anyone who is seriously ill may receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. An individual might receive this sacrament prior to a surgery, or because they suffer with chronic arthritis or mental illness or another chronic illness. A priest is the minister for the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.

Are there three sacraments for the sick?
No. Throughout the history of the Catholic Church, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has had various names. You may remember this sacrament being called Last Rights. You may also know that even earlier this sacrament was called Extreme Unction. Anointing of the Sick, Last Rights and Extreme Unction are three names for the same sacrament.



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St. James Catholic Church

3801 Avenue A
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St. James parish is established to be a sign of the presence of the Kingdom of God, to spread the Good News of the Gospel and to minister and serve others. As Catholics we believe in Jesus' dying and rising and in our call to celebrate the Sacraments and proclaim the Gospel.

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