…when I was sick, you visited me— Matthew 25:36
Ministers can serve as often as they are available; weekly visits are preferred, especially to shut-in parishioners, although some ministers may serve monthly or twice a month. New ministers are teamed up with current ministers to become familiar with the service expected of them. Hospital visitation takes place as requested by the patient, and ministers who serve regularly are assigned by floor or unit so that they are familiar with the needs of patients in those areas.
Those who want to serve in the Ministry must be at least 18 years old and approved for training as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Ministry members must be fingerprinted and are subject to a background check. Training specifically for Ministers to the Sick is offered by the Diocese during a one-day course, usually on a Saturday. When training is completed, ministers receive identification cards and certificates that authorize them to visit and take Holy Communion to the sick and homebound.
We currently have about a dozen ministers regularly visiting the hospitals St. James serves, and about 30 ministers serving 17 homes and high-rises. We are ALWAYS looking for new members in this ministry.