Once a week, Eucharistic Ministers from St. Mary’s, Holliston bring Holy Communion to the Catholic patients at Metrowest Medical Center in Framingham (Framingham Union Hospital). The Pastoral Care Office of the hospital provides the names and room numbers of those Catholic patients who have requested Communion.
The essence of this ministry to the sick is to listen, to share prayers, to bring the Sacrament of Holy Communion and to make present God’s love to those suffering the effects of illness, accident or aging. The joy that we receive in doing so cannot be measured.
Here at St Mary’s Church we provide leadership and training to help you grow in being comfortable with the visitations to the hospital. The commitment is one day a month of your choice for two to three hours to bring Holy Communion to the hospital.
If you have a loved one in Framingham Union Hospital, please call the Pastoral Care Office directly to request that they be brought Holy Communion. Eucharistic Ministers from different parishes cover the hospital every single day. The Pastoral Care Office number is 508-383-1007.
For more information or to volunteer to become a Eucharistic Minister for the hospital, please call Henry Woods @ 508-429-1037.
“We come to the knowledge of God each in our own way. How we accept our joys and sorrows refines us, and helps us in our ministry to the sick. Being a Eucharistic Ministry is an honor, more importantly, it is a privilege. As we carry the Pyx with the Blessed Sacrament within it is like walking hand in hand with the Lord bringing comfort and strength to those suffering and afraid.” Henry Woods
To learn more about the Ministry of Eucharistic Minister at St. Mary’s, click here.
Spirituality of the Ministry
The Reality of Sickness: Christians believe that sickness, suffering, and death have their source not in God, but in original sin. For “God did not create death, nor does He rejoice in the suffering of the living. For He created all things that they might have being; and the creatures He made have health in them” (Wis. 1:13). Sickness and death exist because the world is not as God created it to be. Our world is broken by original sin, and sickness and death are signs of that brokenness.
God supports us in sickness, and can even make us stronger through it when we invite Him into our suffering. But sickness and death do not have their source in God. Rather, Christ specifically came to do battle with death on Calvary. And He won victory over death in His Resurrection. Through Baptism we die with Christ, and are promised a share in His victory over death. “Death is swallowed up in victory. Death where is your victory? Death where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:56)
The Ministry of Jesus: While He walked among us as man, Jesus always showed a special love for the sick. Often sick people were brought out to the place where Jesus was (i.e. Lk 4:40, Mt 8:16). Many times Jesus even traveled out of His way to visit the sick and dying at home. “I will come myself and cure him”, offered Jesus when told a centurion’s servant was ill (Mt 8:7). Similarly He visited the home of Peter’s mother in law whom He cured of a fever (Mk 1:30); and also the homes of Jairus’ daughter and Lazarus whom He arrived too late to cure and so raised from the dead (Lk 8:40, Jn. 11:1).
Jesus specifically empowered and instructed His apostles to heal the sick (Lk 9:1), and said that visiting the sick was one of the true signs of being a believer (Mk 16:18). Jesus also promised that anyone who visits the sick is actually visiting Him, and will be rewarded with eternal life (Mt 25:36).
The Early Church: The apostles continued the healing ministry of Jesus after His Ascension to heaven. People brought their sick to the apostles even as they had to Jesus Himself (Acts 5:15). And like Jesus, the disciples continued to visit the sick at home (Acts 9:33).
The Eucharist: Once the Holy Eucharist began to be celebrated widely and regularly, those in attendance started bringing Holy Communion to persons who were ill. As the living Body of Christ, the Eucharist strengthens the sick and all of us in mind and body and spirit. Sickness can present a profound spiritual challenge to those who are ill and to those who love them. The Eucharist fortifies the faith of those who might be feeling “abandoned” by God because of illness. The act of bringing the Eucharist to home or hospital also tells sick people that they are remembered by their parish family and the whole Church.