Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hospital Visits

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A little insight into the life of seminarians

Whenever I go to the hospital, I never know what kind of situations I might encounter. This past Thursday was no different. The priest who is the primary chaplain was with his family because his mother's funeral was the day before. I went with the priest I have been living with this summer and a transitional deacon at a local parish. We got the patient list and as we went from visit to visit, I could see God at work in many ways. One of the patients had not been to confession in several years and others were different degrees of recovery from surgery or illness. We visited one gentleman at around 3 in the afternoon and he had requested to be anointed. He was not responding to stimuli and was nearing death. His daughter and grand-daughter were present. Fr. Joe asked the daughter if they wanted to wait for more family to arrive before the anointing began and the nurse who had been caring for the gentleman said that it would not be much longer before he would pass away. Fr. Joe began the anointing and after he had anointed the man's head with the oil of the sick, he died. His daughter immediately noticed that he was gone and began to cry and hug her daughter. This moment will be forever etched in my memory because it was the first time that I had present for someone's death. There was nothing eary about it because the man was not in any visible pain or discomfort but it has given me a lot to pray about and thank God for this beautiful moment.

Had we come in three minutes later it would have been a completely different situation. There have been many other moments this summer in which God provides me an oppurtunity to pray over new experiences. This experience reminds me of Mary in Luke 2:19 "And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart." Anthony - Future Priests of the Third Millenium
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