Priest visits and blesses sick and elderly
By Myrna Bermudo
“I was sick and you visited me...” (Mt. 25: 36)
Fr. Elmer Pandes, visited the sick and the elderly in their homes to administer the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. It was Domingo de Albis, or Alb Sunday, in the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Garchitorena, Camarines Sur. Fr. Pandes is the parish priest in this coastal town.
Domingo de Albis is dedicated to gathering the elderly and those with ailment to anoint them with the Holy Oil for healing and comfort. Domingo de Albis coincides with Divine Mercy Sunday.
Fr. Elmer Pandes gives communion to an elderly parishioner. Seventeen sick and elderly persons were visited in the parish. They were blessed and anointed with holy oil on Domingo de Albis. (MB Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish FB)
“This is a Catholic tradition of anointing the sick and elderly with the Oleo Infermorum blessed during the Chrism mass. Families usually bring the elderly to the parish church so that they can be anointed. It is celebrated on the Sunday after the Easter Sunday. Now, because of this pandemic which hinders gathering, I decided to visit the sick and elderly in their homes. On this Divine Mercy Sunday, we want to communicate the compassionate love and mercy of the Lord as we visit our elderly Nanay and Tatay in our community,” says Fr. Pandes when asked why he went house to house visitation.
In a short video on Domingo de Albis posted in the social media account of the parish, Fr. Pandes and his companions were seen observing health protocols by wearing face masks and sanitizing hands with alcohol after visiting a house.
A total of 17 elderly parishioners, some of whom are sick, were anointed, blessed and prayed-over for healing and comfort.
Majority of those who were visited were thankful for the prayers and blessing that accompanied the Sacrament of the Anointing.
Domingo de Albis in a farm
Meanwhile, Fr. Roldan Tordilla, parish priest of Mater Salutis Parish in Cararayan, Naga City, heard confession, anointed the sick and celebrated the Holy Eucharist on Domingo de Albis in a spacious farm.
A big colorful tent was mounted in the middle of the Lamtecson farm in Cararayan. The elderly, together with their families, observed physical distancing and health protocols. Fr. Tordilla heard confessions under a tree. For the anointing, he approached the elderly at their assigned seats to avoid crowding.