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My mother has been a life-long devout Catholic. She's now at home, ill, and unable to attend mass. While she was still a little bit more functional (she has Alzheimer's Disease), I called and asked that the church send a eucharistic minister on Sundays. I was told that if she did not know she was receiving communion, they may not give it to her - it was dependent upon the EM. In a way, that makes sense.

So, I asked if they could just bless her instead (similar to young children approaching the alter with their parents during communion or when one has not received the sacrament of penance). Again, I was told it would be up to the EM, but was given the impression that they would not want to waste their time with that. My solution has been to watch the mass on television on Sunday mornings - wish I had thought of that sooner!

I'm not even sure if I'm going to be able to get a priest to come to the house when my mom's time comes to pass over. However, through the cremation organization, I can get a deacon for around $100/$150 to preside over her service.

I don't understand the reasoning behind some of the above, and I was hoping that someone would be able to explain it to me. I don't expect the church to be at our disposal; it just seems so arbitrary, especially when I read on here how connected some CM members are to their churches and priests. Could it be because she lives in southern California?

Apr 21st 2013 new

Chelle, I always enjoy your posts. I am sorry for this one though. How are you holding up?

Anyway, the priest should be at your disposal in a way. They are there to serve us. Even with the shortage of priests. They should be able to make arrangements to serve your mother. They should never deny Christ to someone within reason...you all know what I mean no attacking please! In the state of Grace, yes I know but that is not what Chelle is asking. I wish you were closer to my parish our priests go out of their way to visit people always! Can you call your archdiocese and ask if there are other priests that are available. Sometimes there are visiting priests that can come over. It should be a regular visit for your mom, that is a shame they said she cannot receive Jesus for that reason, I would call your archdiocese and inquire. Or at least a blessing from the priest. We here on earth don't know what goes on in the mind of an Alzeimer's patient, they could be communing with Jesus for all we know. JMHO

Take care Chelle and don't forget to be good to yourself during this time, you need the strenghth to take care of your mom. Peace. Praying hug rose

Apr 21st 2013 new

(Quote) Jane-933948 said: Chelle, I always enjoy your posts. I am sorry for this one though. How are you holding up? ...
(Quote) Jane-933948 said:

Chelle, I always enjoy your posts. I am sorry for this one though. How are you holding up?

Anyway, the priest should be at your disposal in a way. They are there to serve us. Even with the shortage of priests. They should be able to make arrangements to serve your mother. They should never deny Christ to someone within reason...you all know what I mean no attacking please! In the state of Grace, yes I know but that is not what Chelle is asking. I wish you were closer to my parish our priests go out of their way to visit people always! Can you call your archdiocese and ask if there are other priests that are available. Sometimes there are visiting priests that can come over. It should be a regular visit for your mom, that is a shame they said she cannot receive Jesus for that reason, I would call your archdiocese and inquire. Or at least a blessing from the priest. We here on earth don't know what goes on in the mind of an Alzeimer's patient, they could be communing with Jesus for all we know. JMHO

Take care Chelle and don't forget to be good to yourself during this time, you need the strenghth to take care of your mom. Peace.

--hide--


Hi Jane! Actually, this has been a tremendous journey for me; I can't begin to tell you what a blessing it has been to care for my mother. (I do get really tired, though.) Thank you for asking! hug

Actually, I hadn't thought about contacting the archdiocease. I appreciate the suggestion. I had asked the hospice chaplain, but all he offered me was a printout of a list of the Catholic churches in her area. I'm sure there are visiting priests! I just found out that her HMO will send a house call doctor once a month, if she comes off hospice. So, why not a house call priest? (Not through her HMO, of course, but the church!)

I suppose I can contact the deacon that is connected to the cremation organization, as well. He may know of something. Thanks again! Chelle

Apr 21st 2013 new

(Quote) Chelle-924354 said: Hi Jane! Actually, this has been a tremendous journey for me; I can't begin to tell ...
(Quote) Chelle-924354 said:



Hi Jane! Actually, this has been a tremendous journey for me; I can't begin to tell you what a blessing it has been to care for my mother. (I do get really tired, though.) Thank you for asking!

Actually, I hadn't thought about contacting the archdiocease. I appreciate the suggestion. I had asked the hospice chaplain, but all he offered me was a printout of a list of the Catholic churches in her area. I'm sure there are visiting priests! I just found out that her HMO will send a house call doctor once a month, if she comes off hospice. So, why not a house call priest? (Not through her HMO, of course, but the church!)

I suppose I can contact the deacon that is connected to the cremation organization, as well. He may know of something. Thanks again! Chelle

--hide--

HI Chelle,

Hugs to you and I will add you and your mom to my prayer list. You can ask for the Annointing of the Sick for your mother as well. And, hopefully you'll be able to get a priest to come at the end.

Definitely contact the Archdiocese and another suggestion, contact the local catholic hospital and speak with the catholic chaplain. They may be able to come as well. Also, check with your parish about whether or not there is a parish nurse program, sometimes they have services that are little known but very helpful. I would also suggest putting a note in the bulletin, requesting an EM or deacon or someone who would come to the house. My sister was unable to receive the Sacrament at the end because she was comatose and had no comprehension of what was going on. But, our deacon prayed with us and blessed her.

With the shortage of priests many weddings and funerals are falling to the deacons and I have known several very good and devout deacons who would visit and pray with families over extended periods. If you are unable to attend Mass because of taking care of your mom, the EM should be able to bring the Eucharist to you as well.

Apr 21st 2013 new

(Quote) Chelle-924354 said: My mother has been a life-long devout Catholic. She's now at home, ill, and unable to attend...
(Quote) Chelle-924354 said:

My mother has been a life-long devout Catholic. She's now at home, ill, and unable to attend mass. While she was still a little bit more functional (she has Alzheimer's Disease), I called and asked that the church send a eucharistic minister on Sundays. I was told that if she did not know she was receiving communion, they may not give it to her - it was dependent upon the EM. In a way, that makes sense.

So, I asked if they could just bless her instead (similar to young children approaching the alter with their parents during communion or when one has not received the sacrament of penance). Again, I was told it would be up to the EM, but was given the impression that they would not want to waste their time with that. My solution has been to watch the mass on television on Sunday mornings - wish I had thought of that sooner!

I'm not even sure if I'm going to be able to get a priest to come to the house when my mom's time comes to pass over. However, through the cremation organization, I can get a deacon for around $100/$150 to preside over her service.

I don't understand the reasoning behind some of the above, and I was hoping that someone would be able to explain it to me. I don't expect the church to be at our disposal; it just seems so arbitrary, especially when I read on here how connected some CM members are to their churches and priests. Could it be because she lives in southern California?

--hide--
Chelle -- Perhaps you could bring Communion to her. It's allowed and encouraged in our archdiocese. People attending Mass ask for an additional host (or hosts if more than one person is involved). There are pyx (small containers) used to protect the Host.

If you're not able to attend Mass yourself because of the need to watch over your mother, you might be able to break away during the week to get some hosts to use.

Unless a person is unconscious, there's little way for a person untrained in health issues to know what her degree of awareness might be. Our philosophy here is that if she's physically able, she can receive Communion.

The priest visitation issue is a problem. There is such a shortage of priests, it is difficult for them to perform home visits. They usually at least make themselves available for the Sacrament of the Sick. That's another request you should make. Your mother is certainly entitled to that. It's not referred to as the Last Rites, so it can be administered repeatedly, for healing -- spiritually, mentally, and physically. Deacons cannot administer this Sacrament.

It's sad to see life-long Catholics who become disconnected from the Church they have served so well and for so long. It would help if you could find an EME who is understanding and compassionate, and who could visit your mother on a regular basis.

I still think your best bet is to bring Communion to her yourself. If you find a willing EME, is it possible for him or her to bring Communion to your mother on a different day? I do home visits and bring Communion to homebound people. If a person seemed unaware of what is happening, I would still offer the host as long as it is taken reverently, and the person can physically consume it.

This is a difficult illness to deal with, and it will take a great deal of patience on your part, which I'm sure you already know.

As far as home visits are concerned, perhaps the diocese can help if her own parish can't.

Let us know what kind of progress you are making with this. We would appreciate updates to know your mother is receiving the spiritual help to which she is entitled. hug hug

Apr 21st 2013 new

(Quote) Ray-566531 said: Chelle -- Perhaps you could bring Communion to her. It's allowed and encouraged in our archdioc...
(Quote) Ray-566531 said:

Chelle -- Perhaps you could bring Communion to her. It's allowed and encouraged in our archdiocese. People attending Mass ask for an additional host (or hosts if more than one person is involved). There are pyx (small containers) used to protect the Host.

If you're not able to attend Mass yourself because of the need to watch over your mother, you might be able to break away during the week to get some hosts to use.

Unless a person is unconscious, there's little way for a person untrained in health issues to know what her degree of awareness might be. Our philosophy here is that if she's physically able, she can receive Communion.

The priest visitation issue is a problem. There is such a shortage of priests, it is difficult for them to perform home visits. They usually at least make themselves available for the Sacrament of the Sick. That's another request you should make. Your mother is certainly entitled to that. It's not referred to as the Last Rites, so it can be administered repeatedly, for healing -- spiritually, mentally, and physically. Deacons cannot administer this Sacrament.

It's sad to see life-long Catholics who become disconnected from the Church they have served so well and for so long. It would help if you could find an EME who is understanding and compassionate, and who could visit your mother on a regular basis.

I still think your best bet is to bring Communion to her yourself. If you find a willing EME, is it possible for him or her to bring Communion to your mother on a different day? I do home visits and bring Communion to homebound people. If a person seemed unaware of what is happening, I would still offer the host as long as it is taken reverently, and the person can physically consume it.

This is a difficult illness to deal with, and it will take a great deal of patience on your part, which I'm sure you already know.

As far as home visits are concerned, perhaps the diocese can help if her own parish can't.

Let us know what kind of progress you are making with this. We would appreciate updates to know your mother is receiving the spiritual help to which she is entitled.

--hide--


Thanks, Lauren and Ray! Thank you for your concern and suggestions. I am going to make a list and go from there.

Lauren, we have both a Catholic hospital and a large convent about five miles away. In fact, as a crow flies, I used to live about a block from both. I was thinking about that this morning. I'm so glad you mentioned it!

Ray, I had no idea that I could give my mom communion myself! Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings are difficult times to get coverage (caregivers) for her, and I can't leave her alone. However, I do have time during the week to swing by the church.

Thank you again for your replies! You all have given me plenty of avenues to pursue for success. hug Chelle

Apr 21st 2013 new

That is quite strange, as I've heard the Church may never refuse communion on the basis that someone "may not" know they're recieving.

I used to work in an elder care hospital, populated with people who had terrible dementia, stroke related cognitive destruction and Alzheimers, teh Catholics were never denied Communion. In fact, the Priest himself came every Sunday after Mass to minister to these.

One woman I remember caring for appeared so far gone but as soon as the host was held before her, it was like something switched on inside her head. She'd even say "Amen", and this was a woman who never spoke any other time.

Apr 21st 2013 new

(Quote) Naomi-698107 said: That is quite strange, as I've heard the Church may never refuse communion on the basis that ...
(Quote) Naomi-698107 said:

That is quite strange, as I've heard the Church may never refuse communion on the basis that someone "may not" know they're recieving.

I used to work in an elder care hospital, populated with people who had terrible dementia, stroke related cognitive destruction and Alzheimers, teh Catholics were never denied Communion. In fact, the Priest himself came every Sunday after Mass to minister to these.

One woman I remember caring for appeared so far gone but as soon as the host was held before her, it was like something switched on inside her head. She'd even say "Amen", and this was a woman who never spoke any other time.

--hide--


Hi Naomi! In a way, that's what I was hoping for my mom - that the EM would be here and 80+ years of memory would kick in and she would know that she was receiving communion. Plus, the church was always a great source of comfort for her. Sometimes, when the mass is on the television, I listen for her to recite the prayers - so far, nothing. Maybe it's just this church or the fact that we're in southern California (a little more liberal/laid-back). In any event, I'm armed with some ideas on how to get this done for her. Thanks for your support! Chelle

Apr 21st 2013 new

Were you speaking with the parish secretary? I would find a way to speak to the parish priest directly. Perhaps the next time you call, just leave a message to have the priest call you back and then speak to him directly about having him or someone come give your mom communion. At my last parish, the secretaries appointed themselves gatekeepers to the priests. Sometimes they gave your message to the priest, sometimes they didn't.

Apr 21st 2013 new
(Quote) Chelle-924354 said: My mother has been a life-long devout Catholic. She's now at home, ill, and unable to attend mass. While...
(Quote) Chelle-924354 said:

My mother has been a life-long devout Catholic. She's now at home, ill, and unable to attend mass. While she was still a little bit more functional (she has Alzheimer's Disease), I called and asked that the church send a eucharistic minister on Sundays. I was told that if she did not know she was receiving communion, they may not give it to her - it was dependent upon the EM. In a way, that makes sense.

So, I asked if they could just bless her instead (similar to young children approaching the alter with their parents during communion or when one has not received the sacrament of penance). Again, I was told it would be up to the EM, but was given the impression that they would not want to waste their time with that. My solution has been to watch the mass on television on Sunday mornings - wish I had thought of that sooner!

I'm not even sure if I'm going to be able to get a priest to come to the house when my mom's time comes to pass over. However, through the cremation organization, I can get a deacon for around $100/$150 to preside over her service.

I don't understand the reasoning behind some of the above, and I was hoping that someone would be able to explain it to me. I don't expect the church to be at our disposal; it just seems so arbitrary, especially when I read on here how connected some CM members are to their churches and priests. Could it be because she lives in southern California?

--hide--


Chelle,

I was a EM for shut-ins, sick and elderly. I received training from my parish priest and with his blessing and encouragement visited many of our parishioners. One lady had Alzheimers and was always happy and joyful when I walked in with Our Lord. It was a joy to visit with her and her family.
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