Jesus showed great compassion for sick people. Some he healed. By His own suffering, however, He showed all of us how our suffering can be a path to personal growth and a means of redemption for others. For Christians, no suffering is meaningless. It is a share in the life of Jesus. It is a share in His saving mission. The Church strengthens those who are in danger of death with the Anointing of the Sick. This sacrament has been practiced since the time of the Apostles (see James 5:14-15). The sign of this sacrament is sacred oil applied to the forehead and hands by a priest, who recites the prayers of the Church. If a person is gravely ill, the priest may also give Viaticum (Latin for “food for the journey”), for strength during life’s final suffering.
We encourage anyone who is anticipating serious surgery or those who in their advanced age are facing serious health issues to call the parish office at 412-231-2994, ext. 0 to make arrangments for the Anointing of the Sick. For those in the hospital, it is important to let the admissions or nurses know of your Catholic faith and your desire to receive Holy Communion and the Sacrament of the Anointing as their are chaplains assigned to those facilities.