The sacrament imparts consolation, peace and strength to the sick person. In some cases the sick person recovers from their illness. However, if God is calling the sick person home to heaven, the Sacrament of the Sick helps to prepare the sick person for the physical and spiritual battles ahead on their final journey. In any case, the Anointing of the Sick has the effect of forgiving sins. Only bishops and priests can administer the sacrament, for it is Christ himself who touches and blesses the sick person, in and through the actions of the bishop and priest by virtue of their ordination.
Housebound parishioners receive the Sacrament of the Sick usually during the first week of each month, though with an increasing number of housebound parishioners this is not always possible. People who are going into hospital, or who have become seriously unwell my receive the sacrament upon request.
Each year, the Parish celebrates a special Mass for the Sick. It usually takes place in St Joseph’s College, Ravenhill Road. During this Sunday celebration, those present may receive the Sacrament of the Sick. This lovely occasion helps build up the faith of the community itself.
In the final analysis the sacrament ‘completes our identification with Jesus Christ’ that was begun at our Baptism. Its grace and power fortify us in our final struggles before we go to the father’s house. (Irish Catholic catechism for Adults. Pg. No. 285)