This is my week to be Hospital Minister for my parish. On Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday I have to deliver The Blessed Sacrament to patients at the hospital who are registered as Catholic with the chaplain's office.
I love this ministry even though it always seems to be my week on the busiest week of the month. This week has been no exception. Sunday we went on a hike to take advantage of the beautiful weather and I didn't get to my hospital rounds until late in the evening.
I wrote out my little note about which rooms to visit, loaded up the pyx from the tabernacle in the chapel and headed out. One of the names on the list was the name of an older woman I have known for some time, so I left her room for last and made the rounds of the other rooms. Some of the patients had gone home, (it being the weekend the Chaplain wasn't there to update the book), so it didn't take long at all.
I went to my friend's room last, only it wasn't her at all in that room but another woman. She didn't happen to be Catholic, but we got started talking, and she told me that she was all alone, because she was in from the surrounding county and her daughter didn't drive, so she couldn't come here to be with her. She then told me all about her life there and her love for God and her work with a prayer group at the Nursing home where she lived for a while. She was the most awesome woman I had ever met. She was so happy to have a visitor at all that she was practically in tears.
I told her that I would check back in on her when I came back for my rounds on Tuesday. Sure enough Tuesday was another long day for me and I didn't get to the hospital again till after seven p.m.. I went around and gave out Communion, and then stopped in to see my new friend and she was just as happy this time as before to see me. It seems she had been thinking about something we had discussed on Sunday. We had some further discussion about faith and the importance of community. I told her about my prayer experience at my Internship and my visit with my mother in the nursing home. She told me that she really missed not having a bible with her. I promised to bring her one of mine after Mass today.
So I stopped in this morning on my way home after Mass. She was a little less comfortable this morning, but just as happy to see me. She was really happy to have a bible again. I even gave her an old prayer book that I had picked up at a Daughter's of Isabella rummage sale for a nickle that has prayers for every day of the week based upon the psalms that were written by a monk from Japan. She was really happy to get that as she misses her devotional books that she normally reads "of a morning".
I told her I would check on her again when I did my rounds tomorrow. I am not sure who is getting more out of these visits, her or me. I think perhaps it is me.