Dignity of the elderly

“When this body is gravely ill, totally incapacitated, and the person is almost incapable of living and acting, all the more do interior maturity and spiritual greatness become evident, constituting a touching lesson to those who are healthy and normal.” (Blessed Pope John Paul II, Salvifici Doloris, n. 26)

I had the grace of administering anointing of the sick to an 87 year old man shortly after my ordination. He could not speak, drool was coming out of his mouth, but his eyes were warm and penetrating. Before leaving, he reached out his frail hands and grasped my right hand and would not let go…he began to cry and was trying to say “thank you” but was not able to speak. This man had lived a holy and faith filled life, he was married for over 50 years, and the beauty of his soul was so evident at that moment. He died that night…and this was a grace that I simply will never forget!


About Father Michael Sliney, LC

Father Michael Sliney was ordained a priest in Rome on December 24, 1998. He studied mechanical engineering at Michigan State University for two years before entering the Legion. As a seminarian he earned a bachelors in philosophy from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas and degrees in philosophy and theology from the Pontifical Regina Apostolorum College in Rome. He works with youth groups in the Washington D.C. area.
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