Sacraments of Healing:
Reconciliation & Anointing of the Sick
Known under many proper names—penance, confession, reconciliation—this sacrament allows us to acknowledge our failings, make steps of conversion, and be reconciled with God and the Church. Our imperfections give us countless opportunities for conversion, and therefore opportunities to celebrate this sacrament. Reconciliation imparts to the sinner the love of God who reconciles. One who lives by God’s merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord’s call. Reconciliation may be celebrated by appointment with a priest. At St. Mary’s the regular time for this sacrament is at 4:00 PM on most Saturday afternoons.
Anointing of the Sick
By this sacrament the Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them. Illness and suffering have always been among the gravest problems confronted in human life. In illness, humanity experiences powerlessness and limitations. Every illness can make us glimpse death. Illness can lead to anguish, self-absorption, sometimes even despair and revolt against God. It can also make a person more mature, helping them discern in their life what is not essential so that they can turn toward that which is. Very often illness provokes a search for God and a return to him.
This sacrament may be celebrated more than once if necessary, for example, before or after a surgery, after an accident, during a long illness, etc. Those wishing to receive this sacrament usually make an appointment with a priest, although a communal celebration of this sacrament may take place during the year.
To arrange to receive this sacrament, please call the Basilica of St. Adalbert at tel. 616.458.3065 or the priest’s residence at tel. 616.742.4770.
This sacrament was once referred to as “extreme unction”, and was used primarily in the time immediately preceding a sick or severely wounded person’s death. The Church’s understanding and use of this sacrament is far richer and broader, and it is celebrated without a relationship to a recipient’s likelihood of impending death.