Since its beginning, the Catholic faith has understood that care for the sick and the dying is part of who we are. The roots of our healing mission lay in the life and ministry of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In proclaiming the kingdom of God, Jesus had a special place in his heart for those who were overwhelmed by sickness, disease or threatened with death. Time and time again, Jesus touched these people, physically and spiritually, breaking through the barrier of illness which so often served to isolate so many. Jesus brings the outcast back into community through his healing words and touch. God's compassion and salvific healing is fundamental to the message of the Gospels.
The care of the sick is one of the signs of the kingdom of God. In the parable of the Good Shepherd, we find a reminder that compassion for those in need is at the heart of the Christian mission. Following the example of Jesus' own actions, the Christian community strives to break down the barriers of isolation felt by those who are sick or dying, to include them as full members of the community, and to provide hope of an ultimate healing of both illness and sin. The healing ministry of the Church directly addresses these needs through the Ministry of Care.
The purpose of the Ministry of Care is to provide pastoral care to our parishioners and their families who are sick, elderly, homebound or experiencing a time of need. After an initial period of training, Ministers of Care are offered opportunities to visit and bring Holy Communion to residents of area nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and other homebound persons. The sacramental ministry of prayer and Holy Communion is central to the work of Ministers of Care, but this ministry always involves being present to help out in some way, even if only to give the gift of listening and companionship. People working as Ministers of Care will tell you that they have the experience of receiving much more than what they give.