Ministry of Care

The Ministry of Care is an outreach service of the Saint Anne Catholic Community to those in the Barrington community, who are unable to participate in the celebration of the Eucharist due to sickness, mobility issues or age.

Ministers of Care are parishioners who are commissioned by the Saint Anne Catholic Community to bring the Word, prayer and Holy Communion to those who are sick or homebound. This ministry allows those who are sick to receive the Eucharist and remain connected to our parish community.

Ministers of Care bring prayer and the Eucharist to fellow parishioners and those living in senior communities, skilled nursing centers, hospitals, hospice and to the homebound. In the Barrington community, we visit Alden Estates, Deer Park Village, Good Shepherd Hospital, The Garlands of Barrington, Greencastle Apartments, Horizon of Barrington, JourneyCare Hospice, Lake Barrington Shores, Lake Barrington Woods and Sunrise of Barrington.

The Archdiocese of Chicago requires that candidates for this ministry attend a formal two-day training program, which is offered in the autumn and spring. Upon completion of the program, new ministers of care are mandated by the Office for Divine Worship. The commitment to the Ministry of Care is a three-year cycle.

The amount of time spent volunteering for this ministry varies and is tailored to the minister’s availability.

For more information, please contact Mary Ellen Johnston, Director of Care Ministries, at 773-456-6664 or

History of Ministry of Care:

The Ministry of Care is one of the oldest ministries in Christianity.  In the early Church, members would often celebrate the Eucharist -the Breaking of Bread – in the homes of the early Christians.  If someone was unable to attend the service because of illness, a family member or close friend attending the service would be given a piece of the consecrated bread to bring to him/her, thereby not only bringing the healing power of Jesus but also reaffirming the absent individual as a member of the community.   The only requirement was that both the minister and the recipient by baptized Christians.  Over the years, the ministry became limited to priests and religious working primarily in hospitals and with the sick and so it remained for several centuries.

The renewal of this ministry allowing baptized laity to serve came with the reforms and good works of Vatican II.  Following Vatican II, training for the ministry required up to a year of study and preparation for an individual to be deemed qualified to be a minister of care.  Gradually, the training schedule was shortened to its present form.  Today, the Archdiocese of Chicago requires the candidate for the ministry to attend an approved formal training program as a prerequisite for mandating as a Minister of Care.

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