Countless lives uplifted and transformed through Hospital Ministry

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A Day of Reflection for extraordinary minister of Holy Communion in a hospital setting was held Feb. 17 at Our Lady of Grace Church. A highlight of the gathering was a Mass to recommission and commission all who take Holy Communion to the sick in a hospital setting. Father Larry Christian, the archdiocesan vicar general, was the celebrant at the liturgy.

At the commissioning rite, Father Christian prayed, “Merciful Father, Creator and guide of your family, bless our brothers and sisters. May their faithfully give the bread of life to your people. Strengthened by this sacrament, may they come at last to the banquet of heaven.”

“Some of these ministers have been serving for 20 to 30 years of dedicated service,” said Mellie McKnight, director of Hospital Ministry for the archdiocese. “They get commissioned annually to recommit to and be recognized by the archdiocese for their labor of love.”

There were also speakers to motivate the attendees and enhance their ministry as well as time for those gathered to share their experiences with one another.

“It is a very sacred moment when we share with the sick their worries, concerns, and fears. Not many can understand this ministry unless we have had such experiences,” McKnight explained. “This time helps to reignite us in our enthusiasm for this ministry and refresh our souls to face the difficult situations we encounter. It is also educational and enriching for us as Catholics.”

Presenters for the day were Dr. Rose Marden, lecturer in Pastoral Studies and Associate Dean at Oblate School of Theology (OST), who spoke on evangelization; Father Ken Hannon, OMI, Louis G. Vance Professor of Systematic Theology at OST, who discussed the Holy Eucharist; and Father Jim Schellenberg, Catholic chaplain at the San Antonio Military Medical Center, who explored convalidation and annulments.

McKnight added, “As ministers in a hospital setting, we encounter these topics and many more.” She stated that the ministry is always looking for new volunteers. For more information, call her at (210) 413-7170, or e-mail

? Veronica Markland | Today’s Catholic

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