The Anointing of the Sick

By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them and indeed she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ. 
Catechism of the Catholic Church 1499 

For More Information Please Contact the Office: 361-387-1312

Suffering and illness have always been among the greatest problems that trouble the human spirit.  The Lord himself showed great concern for the bodily and spiritual welfare of the sick and commanded his followers to do the same.  The Letter of St. James invites those who are sick to send for the presbyters (priests) of the Church to lay on hands and anoint the sick in the name of the Lord, both for physical and spiritual strengthening.  We pray that the Lord’s love like the soothing oil may anoint the person’s soul and be a source of comfort and strengthening in the midst of their struggles and fears.
The sacrament of the anointing of sick may be requested when a parishioner is seriously ill or is facing surgery or other medical procedures which lead them to request prayer and strengthening of both body and spirit.  The sacrament is regularly given to parishioners who are confined to their homes by reason of age or disability and cannot come to the church anymore.  Those in the parish who are facing surgery or other medical procedures such as cancer treatment can request the anointing on Sundays when they are here for the celebration of Mass prior to their treatment or procedure.  In the case of an emergency or if a family member is in hospice care at their home here in the parish, they may also call the priest to make an appointment for the administration of the sacrament at the bedside of the seriously ill family member.  If someone has a family member in our local River Ridge Nursing Home, they may also call the priest to specifically request the sacrament when they believe it is needed.  The phone # of the parish is 361-387-1312.  If you get a voice message, leave a message stating the nature of the emergency and a contact number and your call will be returned immediately.


The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick gives strength and support and can be administered to anyone struggling with an illness.

Who may Receive?

In the Catholic Church, Extreme Unction or the Last Rites is the anointing at the time of death. Since the Second Vatican Council, this sacrament is now called the Anointing of the Sick and has been broadened to offer healing and comfort in times of illness that may not lead to immediate death. Speaking about a wider implementation of this sacrament, Pope Paul VI advocated for “a wider availability of the sacrament and to extend it—within reasonable limits—even beyond cases of mortal illness."

Unlike the traditional understanding of the Last Rites, the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is, ideally, to be administered in a communal celebration.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that when the sick are anointed they should be "assisted by their pastor and the whole ecclesial community, which is invited to surround the sick in a special way through their prayers and fraternal attention" (1516). "Like all the sacraments the Anointing of the Sick is a liturgical and communal celebration…It is very fitting to celebrate it within the Eucharist" (1517).

Spiritual Healing

The healing that occurs in this sacrament of anointing is not necessarily physical healing. While we believe that physical healing can occur through the great power of God, the grace that is infused through this special sacrament is the reminder of the eternal presence of God in our human suffering.

When the priest blessing the oil of anointing, he asks God to "send the power of your Holy Spirit, the Consoler, into this precious oil. Make this oil a remedy for all who are anointed with it; heal them in body, in soul and in spirit, and deliver them from every affliction" (Pastoral Care of the Sick, #123).

"The celebration of the Anointing of the Sick consists essentially in the anointing of the forehead and hands of the sick person (in the Roman Rite) or of other parts of the body (in the Eastern rite), the anointing being accompanied by the liturgical prayer of the celebrant asking for the special grace of this sacrament" (CCC 1531).

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