Dear parish family,
As a priest, it is for me a blessing and a great joy to celebrate the sacraments with you and for you. God instituted the seven sacraments so that He could still be with us. They are the most suitable channels through which He bestows his blessings upon us. The Sacrament of Holy Anointing is that sacrament through which God’s divine presence is with us in those times of illness. It is the sacrament through which God bestows his healing grace and restores us to good health of body and spirit. This sacrament is an invitation to unite our sufferings with Christ’s passion. It strengthens our soul and rises our confidence in God’s Divine Mercy. It increases our trust in God, makes us strong to resist temptation and keeps us from despair. If it is God’s time to call us to his presence, through the Sacrament of Holy Anointing He forgives the person’s sins. The priest also has the possibility to proclaim the prayer of Apostolic Pardon upon the dying; through which God releases the person from temporal punishments and prepares him/her to the journey from this life to eternal life. I am always attentive to your requests for the sacrament of Holy Anointing for you or for someone in your family. The person (or a relative on behalf of the person if the person is not able to) needs to express a desire to receive the sacrament. As you know I go once a month to visit with and pray for our parishioners who are receiving treatments at care centers. I also go and visit them at home or hospitals upon individual requests. Every first Wednesday of the month we begun to celebrates the Sacrament of Holy Anointing during morning Mass. Last Wednesday was our first celebration and I am very pleased that eighteen of our parishioners requested the sacrament and were anointed during morning Mass. It was also a great blessing to see the community praying together for those who are in need of God’s healing grace. Our next morning Mass with Holy Anointing will be October fifth.
God bless you all.—Father Lopez
Rev. Johnson Lopez
Father Lopez is Pastor of Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Rochelle, IL.