The face of each person who suffers is a face of Christ. One of the deepest causes of suffering experienced by those whom sickness or aging afflicts is a sense of isolation from the faith community. Because we are members of the Body of Christ, it is Christ who is present to us in our suffering, particularly through our Ministers of Care.
The Ministers of Care of St. Ignatius Loyola Parish are a sign of the community’s presence, bringing the Sacraments of Eucharist, Reconciliation, and Anointing of the Sick, as well as comfort, presence, and prayer to members who are unable to participate because of illness or aging.
Ministers of Care include laity and ordained. Laity who are Ministers of Care are trained as Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist and Pastoral Visitors. Ministers of Care are living witnesses that the community of faith has not forgotten the absent sick, the invisible elderly, and the unseen sufferers. Their presence draws them into conscious communion with the whole Body of Christ so that they may experience that as “a community of disciples” no one is alone.
St. Ignatius Loyola Ministry to the Sick and Homebound includes:
- Outreach to Lott Residence, DeWitt Nursing Home, and Lenox Hill Hospital
- Pastoral Visiting to Homes
- Liturgy of the Anointing of the Sick
- Prayer Shawl Ministry
Liturgy of the Anointing of the Sick
The Parish provides two opportunities during the year for those who are ill or elderly to receive the healing strength of the Sacrament of the Sick as a community. These liturgies are designed so that the community can support those members who face the suffering of illness or aging.
All those who are chronically or acutely ill or who are aging are invited to participate. All parishioners are invited to attend.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Compassion and the love of knitting or crocheting are combined into a prayerful ministry and spiritual practice which reaches out to those in need of comfort. This ministry was founded in 1998 by Janet Bristow and Victoria Galo, graduates of the 1997 Women’s Leadership Institute at The Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. It was the result of their experience in the program of applied Feminist Spirituality under the direction of Professor Miriam Therese Winter, MMS.
The ministry is open to anyone who enjoys knitting or crocheting, who is willing to pray for the recipient throughout the creation of the shawl, and who is willing to donate the shawl to the ill, particularly at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
For further information on the prayer shawl ministry, visit http://www.shawlministry.com