(QUOTE=Liturgy_Geek;10414454]I think that perhaps a little clarification about mental illness might be in order here.
There are more people than you realize that suffer from mental illness, which includes depression, generalized anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, bi-polar, etc. Many people who are mentally ill are able to function in society with the help of the appropriate medication and good psychiatric care.
My husband is bi-polar. One of his problems is that he cannot bear large crowds and becomes paniced easily. Our Bishop made a number of allowances for my husband to be brought into the Church, the largest being approving Calvin’s Baptism, First Eucharist and Confirmation be performed at a local Franciscan Friary by the Minister General there instead of having the sacraments bestowed our parish (a cathedral) in front of 600 people. Also my husband still has bad days, he faithfully attends Mass and sits right up front so he isn’t aware of the large crowd behind him. Our pastor brings Communion to Calvin at his pew because of this. Calvin also joined our parish’s prayer chain so he can a ministry that doesn’t involve being around a lot of people.
I offer Calvin’s story to highlight that there are many myths surrounding those who suffer from mental illness. A good compassionate priest is precious. I would think that if the priest regularly visits the person that the OP described, he will build a relationship with her so that she will eventually feel comfortable to receive Communion from him. It’s a lot of work for one lost sheep but it highlights the love of the Good Shepherd for all of His sheep. As my husband says, “God loves all His sheep, even the crazy ones.”
Thank you for this information, I suffer with anxiety and wish with all my heart to be catholic but am dreading the ceremony that makes me a catholic as I am terrified of being in front of so many people let alone speaking in front of them, I autually find even attending church difficult:o, this has made me put off becoming catholic for many years as I couldn’t find any clear help with this, so what you have said has helped and encouraged me a lot, thank you.
I have recently decided to speak to my local parish priest which I am hoping to do in the near future and I am not sure of the reception I am going to get after explaining my issues, for years I was under the impression that somebody with my problems couldn’t even become catholic because they couldn’t sit through the service or in my case at times even attend church:blush: and I admit I am still doubtful and terrified of what is to come.
So thank you to everyone this has been a really interesting thread.