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Anointing of the Sick

St. Benedict parish ministers to the Catholic patients at William Osler Centre together with the hospital’s Pastoral Care Team. Parishioners who are patients at this hospital and wish to receive the Sacrament of the Sick, Communion, Reconciliation or a Pastoral Visit are required to communicate their need to the parish either personally or through a family or community member.

The sacramental needs of parishioners admitted to other hospitals are usually met through the Pastoral Care department of that particular hospital.

Arrangements for any of these Sacraments at home may be made through the parish office.

Parishioners in hospital or who are homebound are encouraged to request the prayers of the parish. To request prayers, or to include the name of a parishioner in the ‘Pray for the Sick’ section of the weekly parish bulletin, family members or friends are required to contact the parish office.

The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is celebrated with those who are seriously ill, those who are preparing for surgery, and the elderly. This sacrament of healing is meant to heal the whole person, spiritually and physically while at the same time reassuring the person of God’s love and mercy. The preferred place for celebrating this sacrament is in the church with family and members of the church community present. Celebrating the sacrament before entering the hospital, rather than waiting until their condition is critical, means the ill person can better appreciate the prayers and symbols of the rite.

1. Understanding the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick:

The Anointing of the Sick link on the Archdiocese of Toronto website offers answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick:

  • What do Catholics believe about the Sacrament of the Sick?

  • Is the Sacrament called the “Last Rites”?

  • May someone receive this Sacrament more than once?

  • What is done in this Sacrament?

  • Does the Church ever anoint someone who is already dead?

  • Should children receive this Sacrament?

To access these answers to these questions, click here:

2. Are You, or Someone You Love, Sick or in Hospital?

Current practices at Ontario hospitals make it easily the responsibility of the patient or their families to declare the patient's religious affiliation at admissions. For the Sacrament to be arranged, it is absolutely crucial that you or your immediate family let the hospital administration (e.g., a nurse or a physician) or the hospital chaplaincy know that you are Roman Catholic and that you would like to ask for a priest especially if his immediate visit is desirable. A Roman Catholic priest is necessary to confer the sacrament.  Make sure your parish knows about your wish to receive the Sacrament. If you are not attending a parish currently, phone one of our many parish families to discuss your circumstance.

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