The Anointing of the Sick is administered to bring spiritual and even physical strength during an illness, especially near the time of death. Anointing of the Sick conveys several graces and in the Holy Spirit imparts gifts of strength against anxiety, discouragement, and temptation, and conveys peace and fortitude. These graces flow from the atoning death of Jesus Christ, for “this was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, ‘He took our infirmities and bore our diseases (Matt. 8:17).’
Mark refers to the sacrament when he recounts how Jesus sent out the twelve disciples to preach, and “they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them” (Mark 6:13). In his epistle, James says, “Is any among you sick? Let him call for the presbyters of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven (Jas. 5:14–15).’
The special grace of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has as its effects: the uniting of the sick person to the passion of Christ, for his own good and that of the whole Church; the strengthening, peace, and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness or old age; the forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the sacrament of penance; the restoration of health, if it is conducive to the salvation of his soul; the preparation for passing over to eternal life.
Does a person have to be dying to receive this sacrament? No. The Catechism says, “The anointing of the sick is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death. Hence, as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament has certainly already arrived.’
If you or a family member from our parish is hospitalized please let the hospital know that you or your loved one is Catholic. Additionally please notify the parish office at 814-754-5224 in order to let Fr. Aron know that you wish to be anointed while in the hospital. If you need anointed in the case of an emergency, please call the emergency phone number: 724-953-5347. If you or a loved one is not hospitalized but wish to receive this sacrament please contact the parish office so that you can arrange a time to receive this sacrament. Father Aron is happy to offer this sacrament after Mass or at the parish office, or visit your home or the home of a seriously ill loved one if one is homebound.