Grandmother keeps asking for priest


Hi there,

My grandmother had a kidney removed but she also had cancer. In around April or May of this year, the doctor said he thought she had about a year to live. She is 83 years old. She is in a nursing home, and we often visit her. Someone from my family goes daily, and my aunts and uncles often visit also. A while back, maybe a month or 6 weeks ago, she requested a priest to come in, so one from our church drove about 30 minutes to get there. He heard her confession and talked with her. She felt better. This past Saturday, she again wanted to see a priest, so we tried several things but it was hard to get a priest to go there. Finally after Mass, a priest said he would visit her, and he did. She went to confession, then my family went into the room and we had sort of a condensed Mass or service of some sort and he gave her communion, then he anointed her with oil. She felt very good about this, and the priest did an amazing job.

She is mostly bedridden right now. Anyway, this morning, Thursday, she called saying she wants to see the priest again. My family is starting to wonder if this is too much. My thought is that perhaps she is being scrupulous and she constantly needs reassurance. She prays often, and will often say the rosary and watch Mass on TV. Perhaps she is finding it hard to rely on God’s compassion and love enough.

Is there any advice you can offer?


It doesn’t surprise me at all, she just wants to see a priest more than once every few weeks. Most of us who aren’t bed-ridden in a nursing home go once a week at least. I think that’s all she wants.

Just going by what you’ve written, I seriously doubt scrupulosity is an issue here. She’s in the last months of her life and she seeks comfort in the Sacraments that have nourished her for her entire life. Honor her wishes. Let her have access to the priest as often as she requests and as often as he’s willing to come.


Also, is she asking for a particular priest, or just a priest. Because if there’s a priest available in another parish closer than 30 minutes away who’s willing to come (even if not the family’s parish), and it’s forseen that she’ll be requesting a Priest regularly, having more than one Priest who might come might relieve the burden for the one at your church.


Find a way to get a priest to go and see this poor old woman at least once a week. This is what she wants, and she has probably earned at least that much. In her final days she should be granted as much comfort from the Holy Sacraments as she wants. It is part of all of our duties to comfort the sick, but priests are especially called to do so.

May God Bless You and Your Grandma and may He ease her passing.



Ditto that. Don’t feel like you’re bugging the priest. That’s his job!


Call the Parish where either you or your Grandmother is registered. Speak to the Pastor, ask that your grandmother be put on the homebound visitation list.

What will usually happen is that someone will bring her the Eucharist once a week, and a Priest will also make regular visits.

The Parish does not KNOW your grandmother wants this until you let them know.


Contact your diocese, they might have a specific priest assigned to visit hospitals and nursing homes, but you have to request for him to come. My Aunt’s former nursing home had a deacon come once a week for a Communion Service, and then the priest would come every month or so to visit and hear confessions.


It is not up to you to deny your grandmother access to a priest. Please continue to ask one to visit her every time she requests it. Find out which parish is close to the nursing home and see if the priests there are on a rotation to visit (the nursing home staff would know). Make sure she is listed as a Catholic in the nursing home records and put a notation in her records that a priest should be called if she becomes suddenly ill. Access to the sacraments is a great blessing to her, please do all you can to ensure that she can regularly see a priest or at least receive communion if an EMHC from the parish visits.


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