Talking about death and dying is difficult. Yet, it is precisely conversations and advance planning like this that can help ease what will always be a difficult situation. This series was produced with the intention of providing guidance on specific end of life topics to help form your conscience – no matter what your stage in life is. Please take this time as an opportunity to discuss your wishes with your family and loved ones in light your Catholic faith. Your parish and diocesan offices are available to serve as a resource. At Catholic hospitals, there are also chaplains or ethicists to guide you, as well.
The U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has numerous resources on end of life topics, many of which can be downloaded and printed. USCCB End of Life Resources
Video 1: Introduction
Archbishop Listecki introduces the End of Life video series and encourages parishes to access and utilize the resources this series provides.
This resource helps foster conversations on treatment planning and answer questions related to decision-making utilizing the Church’s teaching. It includes guidance for those facing health issues, as well as health care professionals and other caregivers.
Now and at the Hour of Our Death
Video 4: Surrogate Decision-Making
Learn how and when family members or care providers can make decisions for end of life matters.
There are many directives for ethical and religious decision in a health care setting. The document below describes many of these directives.
Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Heath Care Services
The End of Life video series complements in-person presentations. These presentations provide individuals with in-depth information and access to resources, and are hosted by parishes throughout the archdiocese. Check out the presentation schedule below and register to attend any of these free presentations.
March 5, 2020 (Spanish)
St. Adalbert at 7 p.m.
Presenter: Fr. Javier
Anointing of the Sick
In the Church's Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, through the ministry of the priest, it is Jesus who touches the sick to heal them from sin – and sometimes even from physical ailment. His cures were signs of the arrival of the Kingdom of God. The core message of his healing tells us of his plan to conquer sin and death by his dying and rising.
The Rite of Anointing tells us there is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. A careful judgment about the serious nature of the illness is sufficient.
When the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given, the hoped-for effect is that, if it be God's will, the person be physically healed of illness. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the Sacrament is a spiritual healing by which the sick person receives the Holy Spirit's gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age.
~from the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults
Liturgy for the Anointing of the Sick - US Catholic Catechism for Adults
The National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) provides many resources about the nature and work of chaplains, as well as the process to becoming a chaplain.
Choose Chaplaincy - How to become a chaplain.