“It is amazing how Jesus within us finds the words to say”

Rich Bondar and Ron DeGuire August 10, 2022
St. Anastasia Troy, MI

Being a Eucharistic Minister helps me share my faith and belief in God with others. This is especially true in a hospital setting. Being part of the Beaumont Eucharistic Ministry group has helped me expand spiritually and share my faith with others. 
Prior to leaving the parish, receiving a blessing from the celebrant and congregation helps lift my soul and encourages me to do a good job bringing the Body of Christ to others in need. 
Upon arriving at the hospital, we determine the units that need to be visited and get the lists of patients to see. Before we head out to the different floors, we congregate in the chapel and pray the following prayer: ‘Caring God, Empower us to be your gentle messenger, to reflect your presence, and radiate your concern. Help us to reverence and affirm each person we meet today. Amen.’
Once we arrive at the unit, we stop at the nurses’ station and have them review the list so they can share who may not be able to receive anything orally. If someone can’t receive the Eucharist orally, that doesn’t mean we don’t visit them. We’ll stop by to say a prayer or two. For all the patients we visit, we leave them with a prayer book and church paper. 
As we visit each patient, we greet them with a smile, tell them our name, and ask them if they want to receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Most of them give a definite ‘yes.’ We wash our hands and start by saying the Lord’s Prayer with them and may share any other words that bring them comfort. Then we give them the host as we say, ‘receive the Body of Christ,’ and allow Jesus to enter their body. We end with a blessing but before leaving, we ask if they want to pray or even talk more. If family members are present, we ask if they would also like to receive Communion. We’ve learned how to say “Qurbana” for the Chaldean patients, too. 
There are instances when people want or need more than just the Eucharist. Patients may want to talk about their lives, feelings, faith, spirituality, etc. It is amazing how Jesus within us finds the words to say to them. It is definitely a blessing. 
Since the start of the pandemic, we have been limited in which units we can visit.  In addition to the prayer book and bulletin, we have been distributing  Spiritual Communion Prayer cards for patients who cannot attend Mass. For COVID patients, this has been monumental because they can still receive Jesus spiritually and know that we were there praying for them. 
Our parish has many ministries for people to participate in, but we find the Beaumont Ministry to be very uplifting, sometimes challenging, but definitely a privilege to bring Jesus to those who are hospitalized.

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