Recently, my father was warded for pneumonia and the next day being a Friday, I looked at the Church directory to see which church I could approach to administer the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
I left a voice mail at one church and subsequently called the church. I was totally taken aback when I was told that the priest would only go down when the patient was in ICU or dying, and this makes me wonder what is happening to this ministry.
I was also told that I should contact his parish priest instead.
I had a similar experience about three to four years ago when a friend sought my help. When I contacted the parish nearest to the hospital, I was rejected as well.
I know that all our priests are overworked, but if this sacrament is administered systematically, I am sure our hospitalised Catholics, whether they are dying or not, can be rightfully given the sacrament.
I hope the Catholic Church can relook its policies.
- David Soh Poh Huat, Singapore