May 24, 2011
Feast of Mary Help of Christians
RE: Extraordinary Ministers for the Pastoral Care of the Sick (EMPCS)
My dear brother priests:
In order to better equip our lay leaders to extend pastoral care to the sick and elderly in our parish communities, the Lay Formation Center will offer a formation seminar for the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHC) who bring Holy Communion to the sick and elderly outside the Mass.
The training module that we regularly give to the EMHC’s do not equip them with skills about pastoral care of the sick and knowledge of church rules on the care of the Blessed Sacrament outside the church. Understandably, they also need to have some knowledge of catechetical methods to prepare the sick and their families for the sacraments of healing. These will be the scope of the short training that we will offer to the Extraordinary Ministers for the Pastoral Care of the Sick (EMPCS).
The training will be held on June 17 and 18, 2011 at the Lay Formation Center, Bonuan Gueset, Dagupan City with the following schedule:
Vicariate of Queen of Apostles on June 17 from 8:00 am until 12:00
Vicariate of Queen of Angels on June 17 from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm;
Vicariate of Our Lady of the Rosary on June 18 from 8:00 am until
Vicariate of Queen of Peace on June 18 from 1:00 pm until 5:00pm.
Please take note of the following requirements:
1. The EMPCS’s must be duly commissioned EMHC’s and have completed the required updating seminar for this year;
2. They carry a letter of recommendation from the parish priest;
3. They pay the seminar fee of one hundred pesos for the snacks and seminar venue.
The EMPCS may start their ministry to the sick as soon as they have completed the seminar and after June 18, only the duly commissioned EMPCS may bring Holy Communion to the Sick outside the Mass.
I trust that you understand that the rationale behind this added formation is to insure that the Blessed Sacrament is reverently cared for outside the church and that the sick and elderly, treasures of our Church, are given Christ-like pastoral care and attention. May I humbly call your attention to the title given them, i.e., extraordinary, because the ordinary minister for the pastoral care of the sick is the priest and bishop. While our Catholic laity gladly and generously attend to this task, we must keep the fire of our love for the sick ever aglow. Pastoral visits of the priests to the sick and elderly are always pleasing in the sight of the Lord.
+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan
The Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan
(Central Pangasinan, Philippines)