“The gift of life, God’s special gift, is no less beautiful when it is accompanied by illness or weakness, hunger, loneliness or old age. At these times human life gains extra splendor as it requires our special care, concern and reverence. It is indeed in and through the weakest of human vessels that the Lord continues to reveal the power of God’s love.”
– Terrence Cardinal Cooke, 1983
Members of St. Mary’s parish regularly minister to those who are unable to leave their residence (for short or long term) by providing regular pastoral visits and the reception of Holy Communion. Homebound visitors provide support to homebound persons through their presence and careful attention.
Pastoral visits are an opportunity to make God’s presence immediate and real to the homebound person through prayer and the reception of Communion. The early Christian community began the practice of bringing Communion to those who were unable to gather with the community. Today this practice is still an important ministry in the Church. The worshiping assembly embraces and prays for those unable to be present and commissions some of its members to go forth and bring the Body of Christ to its absent members.
Praying with another person can be a very powerful means of sharing our relationship with God and bringing His real presence to the homebound. This prayer may take the form of praise and thanksgiving, petition for needs, an opportunity to express feelings, requests for forgiveness, for healing or longing for a closer relationship with God and the community. Whatever the need, the minister can be a caring partner in the prayer.
The homebound minister also provides social conversation according to the needs and desires of the homebound. This provides a congenial atmosphere for such things as swapping stories, catching up on current events or getting to know each other.
St. Mary’s has trained homebound ministers who are available to visit those who are unable gather with the assembled community providing the reception of communion, being a prayer partner and engaging in social conversation. These visits are arranged at the mutual convenience of the homebound person and the visiting minister.
This ministry is headed by Deacon Marty Breinlinger and Mrs. Mary Alice Breinlinger. They oversee the training and assignments of all St. Mary’s homebound ministers.
Please contact the rectory at 508-429-4427 to request a visitor for your loved one or for yourself.