- A world-wide Christian Church led by Bishops as successors to the Apostles. Members are in communion with the Bishop or Rome (the Pope) who is the successor of St Peter, leader of the Apostles and the first Bishop of Rome.
- Roman Catholics believe in the Blessed Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Saviour of the world.
- The most important act of worship is the Mass which is at the heart of Roman Catholic spirituality.
- There are seven Sacraments:- Baptism; Confirmation; Holy Communion; Reconciliation (Confession); Anointing of the Sick; Holy Matrimony; Holy Orders. The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is for those whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age.
- Christmas and Easter are the most important festivals/celebrations.
- The patient will probably wish to be visited by a Catholic Priest and to receive Holy Communion and the “Sacrament of the Sick”. This is not only for the dying, but also for the sick and is appropriate in cases of serious illness, especially before an operation.
- Patients may request a Bible, prayer books or religious articles such as rosary beads or they may wish to attend Mass in the chapel.
- If a patient is in any kind of spiritual distress the Chaplain may be called to offer comfort.
- The Chaplains routinely visit Catholic patients and will give Sacramental support (Holy Communion, Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick). Lay volunteers and religious sisters may also visit.
There are no particular dietary requirements.
Sometimes individuals may choose to abstain from certain types of food on days of penance.
- The Catholic Priest should be informed long before the point of death, if possible, to enable him to build up a relationship with the patient.
- The Priest should always be called to a dying patient or one who has just died.
- Viaticum is the Eucharist (Holy Communion) given to someone who is dying. Here the Eucharist is the sacrament of “passing over” from death to life, from this world to the Father.
- Other sacraments and rites are also offered to those at the point of departing this life. The Sacrament of the Sick with Anointing is of particular importance.
- There are no objections on religious grounds to blood transfusions, organ donations or transplants.
- There are no objections on religious grounds to post mortems.
- Routine last offices are appropriate.