Friday, June 09, 2017

Hospital ministry, thoughts

Last week it was my week of hospital ministry volunteer work with the parish. I went every day to visit a lady who was on her last days. I told Father she was not in a good way, and he did get to the hospital to give her the last sacraments, thanks be to God. He always asks that we tell him about parishioners in the hospital.

Last time that it was my week, there was no one to visit. I was surprised this time by how much I enjoyed it and looked forward every day to my visits to the hospital.

In fact, I have always liked the hospital environment, which is also very surprising, since hospitals are not necessarily the happiest places. I guess for me most of my the hospital experiences, albeit not without suffering, have ended in happy outcomes. But not always. I saw my dear mother for the last time in a very painful way at an ICU. I was with my father alone in the room when he died. Yet I still enjoy hospitals.

I remember when I taught Natural Family Planning classes in Kansas, I had an office at the local Catholic hospital and I was so happy and proud to see my name on the door. I used to make sure to always pass by the nursery and meet the new babies, even if I had little ones of my own and was often pregnant myself. 

Visiting the parishioner last week was so peaceful and felt so good. When I was the only guest in the room I enjoyed sitting down with her and praying the whole rosary, keeping her company. One time there were quite a few family members, and I stood up and prayed out loud, asking the Blessed Virgin to remember all of the Hail Marys the lady had said in her life, and begging her to be with her at this time at the end of her life.. They were very respectful and thankful. By chance I was also able to attend the funeral mass a few days later, and shake the had of the oldest son.

You just never know what volunteer work you're going to end up enjoying, and gaining peace in your heart through it.

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