Jesus' compassion for the sick, the frail, and those possessed by devils, led him to heal people. He also 'called the Twelve together and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal'.
Thus the Church has a special healing ministry. It is exercised by all in visiting the sick and housebound and praying with them; by Ministers of Communion who bring the Eucharist from Mass to those unable to come to church; and by the priest, who gives the Sacrament of Anointing to those who have a serious illness, or are weakened by old age. Occasionally this is done at a communal service in church, but more commonly in hospital or at home, when the family call him.
The result of this Sacrament is healing. This may be physical healing, if that is for our good; or spiritual healing, giving us strength and peace in bearing our suffering. It also forgives sin, if we are unable to confess at that time. It also unites us to the sufferings of Jesus. And lastly, if in Gods providence the illness becomes terminal, it prepares us for entry into eternal life, the final healing.
Because of the Data Protection Act, a visit from a priest in hospital has to be requested by the patient or family. All parishes in the area have a stock of Hospital Cards, for the use of patients in this regard. In any event, it is always wise to inform the priest before going into a Hospital.