Saturday, August 15, 2015


My comments first: In the article below my comments we see where Pope Francis wants priests to be on-call for emergencies. Are there priests in parishes who don't do this? 

I have been a priest for over 35 years and I cannot count the number of times I have been on-call to go and visit dying or dead Catholics. Usually I'm called after midnight but closer to 3 AM. When I get the call I go.

In my current parish we priests share the on-call emergency cell phone which we pass on to each other when it is our turn. The city's major hospital only two blocks behind the church cares for people from all over south Georgia and since Interstates 16 and 75 run through Macon, we get Catholics from all over the world who are injured or killed in serious car accidents on these roads in Macon.

The way we do it is that we have an emergency cell phone that on our church's phone system by pressing 3 when the phone system is on automated sends them to this cell phone where they leave a message, we call back and then we go if necessary.

What about your parish experiences with how your priests handle on-call emergencies. Are they doing what the Holy Father wants priests to do below?  Keep in mind that in the USA, homeless people now have access to be given free personal cell phones.

Pope urges expansion of priests’ on-call emergency service

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service
8.14.2015 11:08 AM ET
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Year of Mercy is a perfect time to increase the number of priests who take turns being on call all night for emergency spiritual care of the sick and dying, Pope Francis wrote.

The pope, as Jesuit Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio, belonged to a special service, which is supported by the Federation of Priestly Emergency Services, an organization of laypeople in Argentina and Ecuador who drive and accompany priests on their nighttime calls.

In a letter July 27 to the federation's president, Manuel Martin Sjoberg, Pope Francis wrote, "The coming extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy is a good occasion for intensifying the collaboration between pastors and laypeople in the mission of supporting with affection and tenderly assisting the sick and dying."

The pope also quoted from his document announcing the Year of Mercy, which begins Dec. 8, calling people to reach out and support those who are suffering "so they can feel the warmth of our presence, our friendship and our fraternity."
In the Gospel Jesus tells people they will be judged by how they cared for the sick, he said. "In each of these 'little ones,' Christ himself is present."

According to Luis Badilla, who writes for the respected blog Il Sismografo, the federation is present in the city of Cordoba as well as in 17 dioceses of Argentina; it also has a presence in Ecuador.
The group was founded more than 60 years ago by Armando Cesar Sanchez, a lawyer in Cordoba, after knocking on the doors of a dozen churches one night seeking, without success, a priest to come to his dying son.

"Bars, pharmacies, barbershops and bookstores were all open, but no churches," Badilla wrote Aug. 14.


Dialogue said...

First of all, 24 hour businesses use shift staffing, and no one expects the same pharmacist to be on duty 24 hours a day at the local 24 hour drug store. Priests certainly do answer nighttime calls for the last sacraments, but it is intellectually dishonest to compare this service with nighttime businesses.

Secondly, I've been hearing for years about all these priests who supposedly won't hear confessions of sinners, attend to the dying, or administer Holy Communion to the divorced. Our culture of immorality enjoys calumniating and judging clergymen, just as our culture of criminality enjoys calumniating and judging policemen, and our culture of racism enjoys calumniating and judging blackmen.

rcg said...

Dialogue pretty much nails it. I wonder if there would be enough clergymen to call at all hours if we went to confession when our legs worked well enough and during the hours posted? Or took our children to confession and Mass more often?

George said...

The Assumption

The Divine Artist would not leave behind His Masterpiece

God, Who created all and is above all, would according to His Divine plan, need one of His creatures to provide what was necessary to secure our salvation. The Blessed Virgin would supply the canvas, woven from her human nature, and upon that canvas would be the painted the Divine nature forming an inseparable unity, the God-man. Just as canvas and paint constitute two separate realities of a different nature forming one work of art, so Christ is He who is constituted of two different natures, human and Divine, forming one Eternal being. He, who we are made in the image and likeness of, had, at the Incarnation, became one with the image and likeness of one of His creatures. Before an artist paints, does he not prepare the canvas? And so it was with the Divine Artist, who prepared the canvas of the Blessed Virgin's human nature so as to be worthy to receive Him. Just as any work of art increases the value and worth of the canvas or medium which it is joined to, the Divine Being through the Incarnation increased the value and worth of our human nature.
Now Christ, being God and having all Power, and being the One through whom all things were created, could in His Divine nature exist in any part of His creation and even outside of it, but not so His human nature. After His Passion and Death, having come through the crucible of the Crucifixion, at the Resurrection, His human nature was then glorified and could then ascend with His Divine nature into Heaven. In the glorified state, His human body would no longer be subject to death,decay, and corruption and so could then reside in the Eternal Heaven.
With the Assumption of her body and soul into Heaven, it was the Blessed Virgin who was the first beneficiary of this Divine gift.
The Blessed Virgin was God's greatest masterpiece. What artist or creator would abandon his greatest work to corruption? By her unsurpassing love for God was she attracted to Him and by His ineffable love for her was she drawn up to Him. So it will be for us if we follow her example of holiness and become transformed into the image of Christ. In Christ's human and Divine nature is the mold and model which will shape us for our Eternal destiny if we, by our cooperation with the Holy Spirit, accept and put into practice His Holy Teachings. In the Blessed Virgin is the template of the Divine image given us to imitate so that if we but follow her Holy example, we will one day follow her, in our own glorified body and soul, into the Celestial Paradise.

Paul said...

Yes, George, that is what today is.

God, Jesus, Mary all the angels and saints are available 24 hours per day.

Anonymous said...

In our Diocese apparently it is very difficult to get the phone answered on a Sunday or Monday in many parishes. One priest is hospital chaplain and largely carries the entire burden for the diocese, although I believe he welcomes it and he's a young priest too.