One of the many times and places that parish priests are called upon includes the hospital. For the friars at Sacred Heart here in Tampa that includes Tampa General Hospital (TGH) a regional trauma center with multiple ICU specialties.Someone asked me how many times I have been called up to celebrate the Sacrament of the Sick (Annointing) or “Last Rites.” My answer was “too many;” I long ago lost count.TGH has ICUs for trauma, cardiothoracic, neurology, burn, and more – and of course the NICU: neonatal intensive care. People tell me, “I don’t know how you can serve in the burn unit….” But each priest has his own strengths and weaknesses. I am in my comfort zone in the burn ward, but the NICU is a different story. It is always a moment for a deep breath before entering.
Lots of reasons why, but what I really wanted to share, was an amazing article that appeared today in my email from American Magazine. The article was on Neonatal Comfort Care by Kerry Weber. Take a few minutes from your day to read, reflect upon, and pray about this amazing work.