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JesuiticalMay 01, 2020
A patient suffering from the coronavirus disease is seen on a ventilator in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Paris April 1, 2020. (CNS photo/Benoit Tessier, Reuters)

Father Michael Trail had administered the anointing of the sick many times in his first three years as a priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Usually, he would sit at the bedside and hold the hand of a person nearing death while family and other loved ones gathered around to pray and say goodbye. In the time of the coronavirus pandemic, the essentials of the sacrament are the same but it looks very different. As part of the archdiocese’s task force of “priest-anointers” ministering to Covid-19 patients, Father Michael must now wear a gown, mask and gloves while administering the sacrament. There is no hand-holding, and no family members are allowed in the room.

We ask Father Michael about the spiritual and emotional toll of ministering to patients and families in these difficult circumstances and how he thinks about the growing calls to reopen society given the suffering he has seen up close.

In Signs of the Times, we discuss the meeting between President Trump and Catholic bishops and education leaders. Plus, a look at the annual survey of the priestly class of 2020 and how the coronavirus is affecting those without stable housing.

We treasure the community you all have helped to build on Jesuitical’s Facebook page. Don’t hesitate to share your experience during this difficult moment in the life of our church and the world. We cannot make this show or grow this community without your support. Please consider giving through Patreon. And thank you.

Links from the show

Trump says he’s ‘best president in history of the Church’ in call with Catholic leaders
CARA study on new ordinands spots trends worth watching
Seminaries must hire, involve more women, Cardinal Ouellet says
What will happen to people who are homeless as Covid-19 crisis continues?

How you can help
Catholic Charities USA
National Alliance to End Homelessness

What’s on tap?

Miscellaneous brews from our understocked bars

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