The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick

Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick


On the last Monday of each month at St. John's, the Sacrament of the Sick is offered following the 6:30PM Mass.  It is offered each month and all are welcome to attend.

“Is anyone among you sick? They should call for the priests of the church, and he will pray over them and anoint the sick with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise them up. If they have committed any sins, they will be forgiven."   — Letter of St. James 5:14-15

Suffering and illness affect us in body and spirit. If one member suffers in theScreen Shot 2021 08 17 At 3.32.47 Pm Body of Christ, which is the Church, all the members suffer with that member. In times of frailty, sickness, treatment, or surgeries the parish family assures the infirmed of our care and support through our prayer, personal visits and the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.

The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is for all who face a serious illness or surgery or who are impaired by old age. It is distinct from the “Last Rites,” or Viaticum, in which the Church offers Holy Communion as food for the journey to life eternal.

One may celebrate the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick many times if needed for strength and healing in mind, body and spirit. In this sacrament of anointing, Christ strengthens our faith and bestows God’s grace in a time of anxiety and pain.



If you know you will be hospitalized for a planned surgery you should contact the parish before you enter the hospital to arrange a time celebrate the sacrament. Often the Sacrament of Anointing can be celebrated after Mass.  Call the Parish Office to make an arrangement for the Sacrament.

If someone is in the hospital, simply notify the Catholic Chaplain and they will make arrangements for the Sacrament of the Sick to be offered. 



If there is an emergency and need immediate assistance for the Sacrament of the Sick, call the parish number (508-222-1206) and listen to the options for contacting the priest.



Common Questions

Yes and no. The Anointing of the Sick has also gone by the name Extreme Unction which, as a name, emphasizes the anointing (unction) and the notion that this sacrament is for those who are dying.

However, there are many other circumstances of illness and disease in which this sacrament should be received. It should not be neglected as only for the moments immediately prior to death.

The Last Rites involve the administration of Anointing of the Sick as well as Confession (if possible), Viaticum (final Holy Communion) and the prayers of commendation.

Because forgiveness of sins is among the effects of the Anointing of the Sick it is necessary that a priest (or bishop) administer the sacrament.  

Deacons and laity can pray for the sick and dying, but not to the same effect as this sacrament.

Every parish has a phone number to use to contact the priest in case of an emergency. Simply call the parish phone number and follow any directions to let the priest know of your need. 

If you should have to leave a message it is very helpful to include information including a way to contact you, the name of the sick person, the location, and the state of health (kind of illness, possible closeness of death, ability to speak, etc.).

Q & A from the Compendium

"Any member of the faithful can receive this sacrament as soon as he or she begins to be in danger of death because of sickness or old age. The faithful who receive this sacrament can receive it several times if their illness becomes worse or another serious sickness afflicts them. The celebration of this sacrament should, if possible, be preceded by individual confession on the part of the sick person."

Compendium of the Catechism, #316

"Este sacramento solo puede ser administrado por sacerdotes (obispos o presbíteros)".

Compendio del Catecismo, # 317


"The celebration of this sacrament consists essentially in an anointing with oil which may be blessed by the bishop. The anointing is on the forehead and on the hands of the sick person (in the Roman rite) or also on other parts of the body (in the other rites) accompanied by the prayer of the priest who asks for the special grace of this sacrament."

Compendium of the Catechism, #316

This sacrament confers a special grace which unites the sick person more intimately to the Passion of Christ for his good and for the good of all the Church. It gives comfort, peace, courage, and even the forgiveness of sins if the sick person is not able to make a confession. Sometimes, if it is the will of God, this sacrament even brings about the restoration of physical health. In any case this Anointing prepares the sick person for the journey to the Father’s House.

Viaticum is the Holy Eucharist received by those who are about to leave this earthly life and are preparing for the journey to eternal life. Communion in the body and blood of Christ who died and rose from the dead, received at the moment of passing from this world to the Father, is the seed of eternal life and the power of the resurrection.