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Inside the hospice: Help in the month of Holy Souls

by Fr Peter-Michael Scott

I am always grateful for help. I remember a while ago, in the first few months of my appointment, trying to visit a Catholic patient in her twenties who could not sum up the courage to meet me because she thought I represented death. A marvellous healthcare assistant tried to coax her, but she refused. The healthcare assistant went away and thought about what she could do and came back the next day with some special rosary beads. She went into the patient and told her that she understood how frightened she must be, but the chaplain was bringing her a wonderful, precious gift.

She then gave the patient her special rosary beads saying that they were the most precious possession she had because they had been given to her by the Holy Father St John Paul when he visited England. The patient asked why she was giving her such a special present and the healthcare assistant said that when Pope John Paul II spoke to her he said she was incredibly important to God and would never be abandoned, and by giving her these rosary beads she wanted her to know that the same was being said to her.

However, if she agreed to see the chaplain, he would be saying the same but would also be giving her the better gift of God’s Son. I believe both of them cried and the patient sent for me straight away. The young woman died a few days later in total peace, having received the Lord many times in Holy Communion.

We can all do with some help, and in this month of the Holy Souls, we are reminded to pray for those who are on their way into God’s eternal love. They may need to jettison some baggage, and it is with our prayers they are encouraged to do so, to not be frightened and to accept God’s invitation to receive his wonderful gift of eternity.

Please pray for the patient, staff, volunteers and Sisters of St Joseph’s Hospice.