New availability to receive sacramental care in hospitals during COVID-19

holy oils in jars at chrism Mass, Cathedral of Saint Andrew, 2019 by Eric Tank

 

A message from Bishop Walkowiak:

Leer en Español

My brothers and sisters in Christ,

These days of the coronavirus and the protective measures to prevent its spread can be anxious and unsettling times for us all. For many Catholics, the restricted access to our beloved sacraments constitutes a great trial. Some may be wondering whether the sacraments will be available to them if they need to become hospitalized.

We have news regarding the three major health care systems in West Michigan and their policies regarding access of priests to Catholics and their facilities.

Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Hospital will only permit priests to celebrate the sacrament of the anointing of the sick and Viaticum for the dying. The staff priest chaplain, Father Joachim, will handle all other anointings and regular pastoral care.

Spectrum Health Hospitals (Butterworth and Blodgett – updated 3/27): The staff priest chaplain, Father John Bosco, will celebrate the sacrament of the anointing of the sick and bring Viaticum to the dying. If Father John is unavailable another local Catholic priest will be called. Please check with your local Spectrum Health Hospital for visitor policies pertaining to their campuses.

Metro Health Hospital (updated 3/30): will only permit priests to celebrate the sacrament of the anointing of the sick and Viaticum for the dying.

Holland Hospital will only permit priests to celebrate the sacrament of the anointing of the sick and Viaticum for the dying if the patient does not have COVID-19. 

Please pray for an end to this pandemic. Let us pray for those who are sick from it. Let us pray for our health care workers who accompany the sick and serve them in their time of need. And let us commend the dead to the compassion and love of our Lord, the Divine Physician!

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak
Bishop of Grand Rapids

Additional note: The best way to be present at this time with a family member who is hospitalized is by phone. Our priests also are available to contact patients by phone. Please reach out to your pastor or associate pastor should the need arise.