Sacrament of the Sick, dying and unwilling to receive it

My husband has weeks and/or monhs to live, He has stage 4 lung cancer that has spread throughout his body.

He is a Roman Catholic, but a very lax one. He has not been to Mass for about a year or more, (because I drag him at least on Easter) as far as I know has never been to confession in 27 years, although in 1998 he “told me” he had “Last Rites” before surgurey on his heart, it was after I left for the night. I don’t know if he told me that to make me happy or what?

Anyway, can I call my Parish Priest to come out on my own, even if my husband does not want it? I am more afraid of him dying in this state of sin, then to die of the cancer.

Also he “allowed” a non-demon pastor from hospice to come, but clearly told the gentleman “to keep his Protestant Religion and Jesus loves you, garbage at the door” :o I must say, the man was very kind in spite of my husband’s rudeness, needless to say I was so embarrassed.

This has nothing to do with his illness, he has had hardness of the heart for years.:frowning:

What would you do in my situation, would you just go ahead and call the Priest?

I can tell you that there will very likely be a time when he may be so sick that he won’t be able to object. But then who knows he may have a change of heart before then. I will pray for that.

I would (and I will) pray for you and your husband.

And I would ask my priest this question.

This makes me sad on many levels.

first and foremost , pray for him
perhaps this will help?

second, you may call the priest… BUT in all fairness you must tell the priest what the poor man is walking into! you dont want an unprepared priest… also they may have a priest who is very good with such cases.
in any event, you can have the priest there… but its up to HIM to “make use of teh opportunity”
which is why a well prepared priest can be helpful.

May God bless and keep you, i will keep you both in my prayers

Tell him you would like him to have viaticum, the “bread for the journey”, and see how he responds to that (since he says he has already received the Sacrament of Anointing.

Honestly, if it were me, I would call your priest out. That doesn’t make it the right decision however.

I am so sorry, and will pray for your difficult situation. :frowning:

How sad!

Pray, pray, pray…

Remember, it’s never too late, Jesus said to the repentant thief on the Cross;“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Lk 23:43)

**“Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Lk 15:7)

Keep telling him, Jesus loves you, no matter what you’ve done or how angry & hurt you are, JESUS LOVES YOU!!!

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus, Nunc et in Hora Mortis Nostrae!

We only have the one Priest for several counties (I live in Tennessee) but the hospice chaplin said although he is not Catholic, he will assist in anyway, I’m going to call him and perhaps he will go with me to see my Priest on Monday or Tuesday and help me explain, I know I am even having trouble putting into words on this post the scope of his rejections of our Teachings. Although he “believes” in God, he claims he does it his way…

Thank you for all your prayers:)

But at the end of the day - he is Catholic and is entitled to the sacrament. He knows he is dying - I can’t imagine what must be going through his mind and heart right now.

I am so sorry for your impending loss, and the pain that will proceed it as well. I will offer my Holy Communion for his soul on Sunday. Do you mind telling us his first name?


a very similar scenario has just played out with an elderly relative, and remembering my mom’s advice years ago, we figured every Catholic no matter how lapsed or distant, will when close to death, want a priest, even if he does not realize it until the priest walks into the room. So it proved in this case, the daughter simply led Father into the hospice room, the dad started to cry, so everyone else left. When the priest left, both men were smiling, yet with tears in their eyes. I for one thought this man would never reconcile but I am glad we encouraged his daughter and wife to bring the priest. the daugher did this because her own pastor has said frequently he gets more real conversions in hospitals than anywhere else.

That’s beautiful. Thank you for posting that.

There’s some positivity.

No, you can not have your parish priest perform the rite against your husbands wishes. I would pray for him, and strongly urge him to receive the rite and the Eucharist. I will pray a rosary for this intetion tonight.

I’m new to learning the Catholic faith, still in RCIA. But my mom was in the same situation as your husband, so I can at least relate what happened with mom.
She had stage 4b cancer when it was found (primary site-lungs), but it had spread all over, including her brain. She thought clear, but it affected her motor skills, so she had a hard time swallowing, couldn’t talk, couldn’t use her hands etc. One thing we found that helped her in later stages, she was having pain in her legs (cramping) and they gave her a med called soma… somehow the soma relaxed something in her brain I guess and the next day she was able to talk and move again, so we kept giving her soma till the end which helped her a ton to be able to talk and communicate- I tell you this because with your husband, it may get to that point, if so, ask for soma, they should give it to him since he’s in hospice.
Another thing, even though he’s had a hardened heart for years, he’s probably going through a lot of different emotions right now, and it’s probably all coming out as rudeness, so keep that in mind too.
Now, spiritually, mom went through all different spiritual things in her few months she was dying. At first, I think she was angry at God, then she went and started questioning everyone about their beliefs, including me. Towards the end, she wanted to see different pastors and priests… it was like she went through a journey in a matter of days trying to figure out what to believe. My understanding is that she prayed with each one, willingly, when a few weeks before she was saying she didn’t believe in hell or anything.
Someone told me that they believe God gives everyone one last chance at the end, I don’t know if that’s in Scripture or what, but I know when I had my widow maker heart attack (2005) God revealed Himself to me which was the start of me coming to the Church.
Above all, pray for your husband and trust God.
I’ll pray for him and you.

It would hurt nothing to visit with your parish priest and ask him to come for a visit.

Who knows – your husband could have a change of heart.

At the very least — he will refuse the visit.

The parish priest will not be upset – knowing the circumstances going into the room.

I think it is sadder when the spouse of one dying refuses to let a priest come for a visit.

We had that instance – and our priest made a visit with the husband while the wife was away and he asked the priest for last rites.

All you can do is try.

I would ask the priest to visit, explaining the situation in advance. When he gets there, if your husband won’t see him, that’s his decision, but you will have done everything possible to help him gain salvation. You can’t force him to have last rites, but you can make them available to him.

The chaplain may be able to offer comfort to you and your husband, but he can’t give him any sacraments.

Pray a Chaplet of Divine Mercy in his presence as often as possible if you can and also get a Green Scapular ASAP, get it blessed and hide it in his room and say the “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death” daily.

EDIT: Remember one of Jesus’ promises regarding the CoDM to Sr. (now St.) Maria Faustina: “…When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I
will stand between My Father and the dying person not as the just
judge but as the Merciful Savior”.

His name is Ralph and thank you and God bless you:)

Thank you all! I am also going to continue praying for him. You have all given me the strength and courage through Jesus Christ to speak to the Priest about him. He may just accept it.

The chaplin, although Protestant and of course unable to perform the Sacrament, is willing to just help as a kind Christian friend.

God Bless all of you for you kindness and help

\Tell him you would like him to have viaticum, the “bread for the journey”, and see how he responds to that (since he says he has already received the Sacrament of Anointing.\

But he did NOT receive Holy Unction for this present illness.

Oh I am fully aware of that and I know even if he did recieve it, that was 11 years ago. I am simply quoting my husband, I know it’s just like someone saying “I went to confession in 2005, so I’m ok”:shrug:

I will.:slight_smile: But one small question, isn’t that only given at the point of death (in the active dying phase), although he is dying,(from the cancer, weakening each and everyday, he is not in the 48 hour transition phase of death.

No one should ever hesitate to call a priest for someone who is clearly on his/her last journey out of this life.

No matter how hardened they appear to be, we should call a priest. In fact, I would go so far as to say it is our moral duty and we would be committing serious sin if we didn’t.

Of course, you should let the priest know that the sick person has not actually asked for a priest and may respond negatively, even rudely, but DO ask him to come. God is always waiting for us to open ourselves to His Grace - even a tiny crack, so that He can give us what He always wants us to have.

If your husband does not respond positively, you will still have done the right thing. And if he does respond positively, how relieved and happy you will be. In either case, keep praying for him.

I have prayed for both of you - that he will receive the necessary graces from God and that you will be strengthened in this difficult time.

God bless.

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