Route (Communion to The Home Bound) Ministry
Canon Law and the Lay Minister of Holy Communion
Ideally, Catholics should approach the Eucharist during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Nevertheless, it is not always possible for Christ’s faithful to do so without grave inconvenience. In the case of sickness, this grave inconvenience may be physical or it may be moral. If the sickness deprives the individual of all his energy and thus he lacks the strength to get out of bed, then the grave inconvenience is physical. If the person is able to get out of bed and move around, but his illness is a highly contagious disease, then the grave inconvenience is moral in that he ought not risk the health of the general public.
Regardless of whether the illness causes moral or physical impossibility, the Church is still obliged, insofar as it is possible, to meet the spiritual needs of her faithful. From these needs arise the Church’s ancient pastoral practice of visiting the sick. This practice includes taking the Eucharist to the elderly, the sick and the infirm. It involves sharing in prayer and the word of God during these visits. These eucharistic visits may take place in the home, at the hospital bed, or in any institution that provides basic care and day-to-day living arrangements to the elderly, the sick and the infirm.
A minister of Holy Communion typically encounters three types of situation when taking Communion to the sick:
- The first is a regular visit to someone suffering from the effects of age, illness or infirmity.
- The second concerns a visit to someone who is dying. In this situation, the Church refers to the Holy Eucharist as Viaticum. This last word means “food for the journey,” keeping in mind that death is a journey into the afterlife.
- The third situation concerns a sick or dying child. A lay minister of Holy Communion should be aware of how to proceed in each situation.
Route Ministry at St. Gabriel Catholic Church
This fully rewarding ministry serves the home bound, the infirm, the residents of nursing homes, retirement centers, and the Retsil Veterans Home by taking the Eucharist to them on primarily on Sundays.
- Confirmed Roman Catholic
- Registered at St. Gabriel or Prince of Peace
- Background check and completed the Safe Environment Program Live Training
- Compassionate and respects the worth and dignity of the individual being served
- Be available to pick up the Communion host after the 8 AM Mass.
- Committed to faithfully visit those on their Route for their scheduled month.
- Each Route is on a rotation Schedule with other Route Ministers.
- Undergo training by an experienced Eucharistic Route Minister.
- Work with the Route Coordinator in understanding the needs and expectations of the Ministry.
For more information contact the Parish Office (360) 876-2762 / [email protected]