Anointing of the Sick
Anointing of the Sick at St. John Neumann Parish
We invite anybody who is ill in body, mind, or spirit to call the parish office: (570)-344-6159. A priest will come to your hospital room or home to celebrate the Anointing of the Sick.
If you cannot contact a priest at St. John Neumann Parish, do not worry! Simply call Immaculate Conception Parish (570-961-5211). Their call service will then relay the message to whichever priest is on-call.
Remember, this sacrament is for all who are sick, not only those who are dying. Any Catholic who is ill can request to receive this sacrament of healing.
A Brief Theology of Anointing of the Sick
During Jesus' ministry, he always sought to heal those who were sick in body, mind, and spirit. Those who sought healing were restored by Jesus, whether they were blind, mute, deaf, crippled, afflicted with skin diseases, or disturbed in their minds and hearts by demons and other causes. These healings were signs of God's Kingdom, that God desires us to experience wholeness in our lives. Furthermore, these healings of Jesus pointed to the promise of eternal life.
By his cross and resurrection, Jesus has brought the pledge of eternal life to all, including those who are sick. While those who are ill, suffering, and dying desire healing, ultimately, their true hope is in attaining new and eternal life forever with God.
Jesus commissioned his apostles to participate in his ministry of healing. In fact, the apostle James writes about the early Church's practice of the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. Saint James writes: "Are any among you sick? Let the sick person call for the presbyters of the Church. They should pray over the sick person and anoint him or her with the oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick person up, and the Lord will raise them up. If they have committed any sins, they will be forgiven" (James 5:13-15).
The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick includes a silent imposition of hands (an ancient sign of invoking the Holy Spirit), the rite of anointing with oil (a symbol of strength), and the praying together of the Our Father.
Today, priests continue to participate in this healing ministry of Jesus through the Anointing of the Sick. Again, all who desire wholeness, healing, and forgiveness are invited by the Lord Jesus to celebrate this sacrament. We place our trust in Jesus, who is the Divine Physician of our bodies, minds, and souls!