Pastor’s Column


As we have five major hospitals within about ten minutes of us, the priests are regularly making visits to the dying and often taking with them the Holy Eucharist. When such a call comes in, the priest will go either to the private chapel in the Soledad residence or to the tabernacle of the church itself in order to place Our Lord in a small golden pyx, which is then placed alongside a small corporal and purificator in a burse, which is itself tucked under the surplice or cassock. The priest then proceeds to his car and drives to the hospital.

The pyx, linens, and burse

It often happens that from the church to his car, the priest will pass by some of the faithful. As he is carrying the Blessed Sacrament, he is discouraged from making any unnecessary communications, which is why he will walk quickly and with eyes downcast, and also why sometimes he may not acknowledge a greeting from a parishioner.

The priest carrying the Blessed Sacrament

When parishioners see the priest walking in surplice and white stole, carrying a sick call bag (usually this looks like a briefcase of some kind), and going from the church to the rectory driveway where the priests’ cars are parked, he is almost certainly carrying the Blessed Sacrament with him. (Sometimes during inclement weather he may have a jacket on which can make it a little harder to figure out if he is carrying the Blessed Sacrament, but you can often tell from his demeanor.) The most appropriate response at such a time would be to call others’ attention to the fact and kneel reverently until Our Lord passes by.

Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on September 24, 2023

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5461 44th Street
Sacramento, CA 95820
(916) 455-5114