The Church continues that work of healing and care for the sick today, through the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. Previously known as “Extreme Unction” or the last anointing, this Sacrament is not only for those at the point of death, but for any baptized person (ordinarily a Catholic) who suffers from a serious illness. The Anointing of the Sick may be repeated if the sick person recovers but becomes ill 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. In addition, elderly people may be anointed if they are in weak condition even though no dangerous illness is present. Sick children may be anointed if they have sufficient use of reason to be comforted by the sacrament.
In order to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, a person or family member should request it from the Church. When a member of St. William is in the hospital, or experiencing a serious illness at home, someone should call the Church office or our Priest directly and make the situation known.
For those who are about to depart from this life, the Church offers “the last rites” which consists of the opportunity for Confession of sins, the Anointing of the Sick, and the reception of the Eucharist, which is know in this case as “Viaticum,” or food for the journey. These are the sacraments that prepare us for our heavenly homeland. For more information, call the Church office at 912-638-2647.