April 8, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A hospitalized woman, who appeared to have coronavirus symptoms, urged priests to be courageous and not let fear stop them from delivering the sacraments to the sick and dying in hospitals.
In a short video created from her hospital bed, Cameron Fradd, host of the podcast “Among The Lilies,” pointed out that if it is safe for a janitor to enter her room to empty the trash, “surely we can figure out a way to make it safe for a priest to come and feed my soul.”
Testing eventually proved that Fradd did not have COVID-19 and she is now safely home, but her message encouraging bishops to think creatively and priests to be fearless amid the coronavirus pandemic remains poignant.
Surely we can figure out a way
“I was just told something by my nurse that just kind of broke my heart,” said Fradd.
Her voice hoarse, and as she repeatedly turned away from the camera to cough, Fradd said that when she had asked a nurse to have a Catholic priest visit her bedside, she was told “the priest isn’t allowed to come, that bishop told him, ‘No.’”
“It broke my heart that I couldn’t receive the sacraments,” she said, adding that there are other people here in the hospital who are scared and alone and are sick, and want to turn to God: They’re asking for God’s mercy.”
“When you’re in the hospital, you have a lot of time to pray and reflect, and it’s a great time to evangelize,” she said, “to bring people home to the Church and the Sacraments and point them towards heaven.”
But in so doing they also need to be pointed to the sacrament of the sick, confession, and the Eucharist.
Fradd said that nurses often come into her room, wearing two or three layers of gloves, multiple face masks, and a shield covering their faces.
“Even the janitor comes into my room to empty the trash,” she said.
“I think that if they can make it safe for a nurse to take care of my body and (for) a janitor to empty the trash in my room, surely we can figure out a way to make it safe for a priest to come and feed my soul and empty the trash and gunk in it because I’m a big fat sinner and I need the sacraments,” she said with a smile.
Now is not a time to be fearful
Fradd also told the story of a young priest friend who communicated with a hospitalized man via FaceTime because he was not allowed to visit the man in person. As such, he was unable to give him last rites and so prayed the “commendation of the dying” with him. The man died the next day.
The priest then called his vicar and said, “I volunteer. If you need someone to go to the front lines, quarantine himself, and go to the hospital and minister to these people, I will do it,” she recounted.
“Bishops, I’m asking you to look for more options,” said Fradd.
Let’s “find young priests that are healthy that can volunteer,” she continued. “It is important that people that are sick and in need get the sacraments.”
“Now is not a time to be fearful,” she said.
“In times of suffering and crisis, grace abounds all the more and virtue gets to shine, and the Lord is calling us to be virtuous,” she said.
“I’m asking you priests to please be courageous,” she added, “and I am praying for you.”