This book is a collection of the papers presented at an international symposium sponsored by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) as part of a long-term exploration of topics of theological and pastoral concern in pastoral care of the sick. This book looks at the anointing of the sick from the vantage point of theology, history, and cannon law. Since Vatican II the training and commissioning of lay Eucharistic ministers has enabled the sick and dying to receive the nourishment of Christ's body and blood regularly in their confinement at home or an institution. The sacraments of penance and the anointing of the sick, however, have become less and less available as the number or ordained priests in chaplaincy is decreasing. In response to this pastoral problem, Bishop Richard J. Sklba, auxiliary bishop of Milwaukee, suggested that the NACC gather theologians together to explore the history and practice of this sacrament and other rituals in the rich tradition of the Church. Thus the papers concerning this particular sacramental ministry were written and delivered at this conference. This book will be helpful for professional ministers of pastoral care; professional pastoral, liturgical, and sacramental theologians; and those engaged in pastoral ministry formation.
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