Syllabus 
12:425 Ministry to the Sick, Dying, and Bereaved

Weekend Course -- Three Credit Hours
 April 8-9, May 6-7, and June 3-4, 2017
Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology
Saint Meinrad, Indiana

Rev. Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M., S.T.D
,
Professor Emeritus --  Liturgy and Sacramental Theology

Course Description

Assigned Reading

Course Contribution to Degree Program Outcomes

Course Objectives 

Course Method

Summary of Course Content

Reading Schedule

Writing Assignments

Weekend 1: April 8-9

Weekend 2: May 6-7

Weekend 3: June 3-4

2017 Course Participants

Course Description

Ministry to persons in times of crisis is one of the most appreciated of all the activities of the Church. This course studies the history of the Church's care for the sick, the dying, the dead, and the bereaved, examining the rituals and liturgical rites the Church employs in this ministry, namely: Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum, and The Order of Christian Funerals. The aim of the seminar is to understand the history and meaning of these rites, to develop a theology of illness and death, and (through videos and role playing) to enable the participants to be better prepared to minister to the sick, the dying, and the bereaved, and to assist others preparing for this ministry in Catholic parishes. 

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Assigned Reading

Bruce T. Morrill. Divine Worship and Human Healing: Liturgical Theology at the Margins of Life and Death. Pueblo: Collegeville, Minnesota, 2009. ISBN # 978-0-8146-6217-5. $34.95.

Richard Rutherford with Tony Barr. The Death of a Christian: The Order of Christian Funerals. Revised Edition. Pueblo, Collegeville, Minnesota. 1990. ISBN # 0-8146-6040-1  $19.99

The Rites of the Catholic Church, Volume I (Third edition). Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1990. ISBN 978-0-8146-6015-7. $19.77  -- "Pastoral Care of the Sick:  Rites of Anointing and Viaticum" pp 759-908 in Rites of the Catholic Church, Volume I (Third edition). -- "Order of Christian Funerals" pp 909-1118 Rites of the Catholic Church, Volume I (Third edition).

Sacram Unctione Infirmorum, Apostolic Constitution of Pope Paul Vi on the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick  http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-vi_apc_19721130_sacram-unctionem_en.html 

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Course Contribution to Degree Program Outcomes

This course relates to each of the intended course outcomes of the degree of Master of Arts in Theology and the Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology, namely:

1)  [To be able to] understand the biblical, historical, systematic, and pastoral dimensions of Catholic belief and practice -- by studying the history of the Church's ministry to the sick, dying, and bereaved, and the biblical basis for this ministry.

2)  [To be able to] read and interpret texts of the Catholic tradition faithfully and critically -- by examining the Rites proposed by the Church for these situations; and by examining the theology upon which they are based.

3) [To be able to] relate issues of contemporary thought, life, and pastoral practice to larger the Catholic theological context -- by demonstrating the ability to minister in these situations and to introduce others into this ministry; and the ability to catechize the faithful regarding these issues.

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Course Objectives

This course is designed to enable the participants to be able to effectively minister to the sick, dying, and bereaved by employing a ministry 1) based on an understanding of the official Rites which the Roman Catholic Church has proposed for these events and 2) based on a psychologically and theologically sound understanding of the mystery of sickness and death in the plan of God.  (To do this effectively, the minister him/herself must have come to grips with these mysteries.) The courseis designed to enable the participates to:
1.  answer the ordinary historical, theological, and/or pastoral questions that Catholics might ask about the Sacrament of Anointing and Christian Funerals;
2.  understand the structure and elements of these rites;
3.  plan and celebrate these rites in a fruitful manner;
4.  be prepared to minister to the sick and the bereaved;
5.  be able to prepare others for these ministries in a parish setting;
6.  develop an ever deeper spirituality regarding sickness and death.

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Course Method

1.  This is a graduate seminar.  Each student is responsible for the readings and postings.  I presume that each participant in the seminar will take responsibility for the readings and use the material in their class discussion, written assignments, and in their ministry.  Even though the class will meet face-to-face on three weekends, the majority of the work and learning will be accomplished at home and on-line. Participants in this course are expected to have access to a computer; the ability to access websites and download and print files; the ability to send and receive e-mail; and the ability to post essays and enter into discussion on MOODLE. If you encounter any technical problems during the course, you may wish to contact the Director of Information Technology. The IT department at Saint Meinrad is always available to help you.

2.  The reading assignments and the written assignments are not of equal length or difficulty.  I suggest that you read the entire syllabus and make a schedule for yourself which accommodates your own working and living context.  One written assignment is required each week.  The written assignments can be posted on MOODLE at your convenience depending on your own schedule and obligations; however, they must be posted by midnight of the day given in this syllabus. Because of the requirement to read and comment on one another's postings, it is essential that the assignments be posted on time.  The grade for the assignment will be lowered if it is not posted before the deadline.

4.  I urge you to read one another's postings on MOODLE.  Arthur W. Chickering and Zelda F. Gamson in Seven Principles For Good Practice in Understanding Education state that "learning is enhanced when it is more like a team effort than a solo race. Good learning, like good work, is collaborative and social, not competitive and isolated. Working with others often increases involvement in learning. Sharing one's own ideas and responding to others' reactions sharpens thinking and deepens understanding." In my own teaching experience I have found this to be verified time and time again. Consequently, reading the postings of the other participants and dialoguing with them is an important part of the learning process in this course. 

For each of the eight written assignments, read several (if not all) of the postings of your classmates and post a substantive comment on at least two (2) of them; These comments are to be posted within the week following the original post.  They are part of the course requirements and are graded. (The discussion can continue as long as you like, but for grading purposes I will only consider those posted during the week following the due date for the assignment.)  These comments are not to be simply "nice job" or "I liked your post".  When composing replies, consider providing an alternative perspective, or sharing an example from your own experiences, or ask a question to further the discussion, or post additional resources (websites, books, articles), or discuss why you agree or disagree with something in the original post.

5.  80% of the course grade will be the average of the grades of the 8 assignments; 10% of the course grade will be determined by the quality of your responses to the postings of your classmates; and 10% of the course grade will be based on the quality of your participation during the face-to-face class periods. 

6.  I will assign grades to your work as follows:

Below 85% The essay is seriously deficient with regard to the expectations of the assignment.

Below 90% The essay does not adequately meet one or more of the expectations of the assignment.

90-92% The essay adequately fulfills the assignment and was posted within the assigned time. The author responded adequately to at least three of the other postings. The essay shows that the author understands the material and can explain it adequately.   (This is the grade to be ordinarily expected.)

93-94% The essay shows very good insight into the material and gives evidence that the author has read and understood the assigned readings. The essay cites the assigned readings to good advantage. The essay includes supporting statements from other sources. The essay gives evidence that the author has spent some time thinking seriously about the issue.  When responding to the postings of others, the comments further the theological discussion.

Above 94% The essay is exceptional with regard to the above mentioned criteria and indicates real insight into the issues that lie behind the assigned topic which will enable the author to integrate these insights into the overall structure of the course.

5.  The MOODLE grade book lists your grades numerically; the School Bulletin states that 95 (and above) = A; 94 = A-; 93 = B+; 92 (and lower) = B. [.5 is rounded up] 

6.  See the student handbook for the school's rules regarding plagiarism and the serious consequence for plagiarism. 

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Summary of Course Content

Part one: Sickness
Ministry to the Sick and the Dying

1. Why sickness; why suffering? The role of suffering in God’s plan for the universe.
    a. Negative aspects of suffering.
    b. Positive aspects of suffering. (Is there anything positive in suffering?)
    c. Legitimate and illegitimate suffering
2. Jesus’ own suffering
    a. Why did Jesus suffer?
        i.  Contemporary sacrifice theology
        ii.  Contemporary atonement theology
        iii. Kingdom/power theology
3. Ministry to the sick and dying – The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick
    a. History of the Church’s ministry to the sick and dying
    b. Sacrament as worship – anabatic movement
    c. Sacrament as healing – katabatic movement
        i. Absolving sin
        ii. Physical healing
    d. Subject of the sacrament
        i. Are we “body and soul” or are we “mind-body-spirit”
        ii. How sick do you have to be?
        iii. With what kind of sickness?
    e. Minister of the sacrament
        i. The Church, Assembly, the Body of Christ, as minister
        ii. Priest, deacon, layperson
4. Lay ministry to the sick and dying (with and without Holy Eucharist)
    a. Techniques for this ministry – do’s and don’ts
    b. Preparing other parishioners for this ministry
5. Vatican II and Anointing
    a. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy
    b. Apostolic Constitution – key changes in the theology and the ritual
    c. Theology contained in the Introduction to the Rite
    d. Theology contained in the prayers themselves (Lex Orandi)
    e. The three Holy Oils and the “essential words”
    f. The structure of the Rite in various circumstances
        i. During Sunday parish Eucharist
        ii. Individual [not “private”] celebrations
6. Ministry Techniques for this ministry – do’s and don’ts
    a. Preparing other parishioners for this ministry
7. Assisting the dying and their caregivers with “end of life decisions”
    a. Preparing a living will
    b. Discussions of “do not resuscitate”
    c. Preparation of a durable power of attorney for health issues
8. Sacramental ministry to the Dying
    a. Viaticum and the Apostolic Pardon
    b. Conditional Anointing for the dead
9. The Code of Canon Law and ministry to the sick and dying

Part Two: Death
Ministry for the Dead and the Bereaved

1. Why do we die? The role of death in God’s plan.
    a. Is death a natural part of life? Or is death the result of Original Sin?
2. What happens after death?
    a. In the context body soul
    b. In the context mind body Spirit
    c. What the death/resurrection of Jesus tells us about our death/resurrection
    d. What do you tell the bereaved about the state of their deceased loved one?
3. Who is your God? Judge? Policeman? Accountant? Prime Mover? Loving parent?
    a. Implications for the “afterlife”: heaven, purgatory, and hell, [and Limbo].
4. The Order of Christian Funerals
    a. Structure of the ritual: Vigil / Eucharist / Burial
    b. Why do we pray for the dead
    c. Analysis of the prayers (Lex Orandi)
    d. The “Requiem” of the Extraordinary Form
5. The ministry of visiting the bereaved and planning the funeral rituals
    a. Techniques for this ministry – do’s and don’ts
    b. Preparing other parishioners for this ministry
    c. Explaining death to young children
6. The Code of Canon Law and Funerals

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Suggested Schedule for the Reading Assignments

You may read the four assigned texts in any order and in any time frame you choose.  I give the following schedule only as an aid to help you stay on track with the written assignments.  

(Weekend 1: April 8-9)

Before April 8, read:  Morrill, Part 1:  Liturgy and Healing, pp i-60.  and Morrill, Part 2:  Scripture and Tradition, pp 61-134.

Before April 16, read:  Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum. (The page numbers given here are those in the study edition of The Rites published by the Liturgical Press, 1990) pp 759 - 908 [150 pages; but much of this is repetition of outlines and prayer texts]   Read especially:  Apostolic Constitution by Pope Paul VI p 771 - 774. General Introduction #1 - 41 (pp 778-789) and the introductions to each of the rites.  Rite for Emergencies #259ff.  Christian Initiation for the Dying, #275ff.

Before April 23, read:  Morrill, Part 3:  Rites of Healing, pp 135-182.

Before April 30, read:  Morrill, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, and Conclusion, pp 183-264.

(Weekend 2: May 6-7)

Before May 6,  read:  Richard Rutherford with Tony Barr. The Death of a Christian: The Order of Christian Funerals. Revised Edition. Pueblo, Collegeville, Minnesota. 1990. Chapter One, Origin, pp i-36.  Chapter Two, The Order of Funerals, pp 37-74.

Before May 14, read:  Rutherford:  Chapter Three, The Model Becomes Norm, pp 75-114; and Chapter Four, The Reformed Order of Christian Funerals, pp 115-159; and Chapter Five, The Order In Specific, pp 160-188 and Order of Christian Funerals (The page numbers given here are those in the study edition of The Rites published by the Liturgical Press, 1990) pp 909-1118

Before May 21,  read:  Rutherford:  Final Commendation, pp 189-214; and Chapter Six, Present and Future, The Reform and Renewal, pp 215-268;

Before May 28, Read   Rutherford:  Appendix One, Order of Christian, pp 269-273; Appendix Two, pp 274-281; Appendix Three, pp 282-288; Appendix Four, pp 289-290; Appendix Five, pp 291-292.

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Writing Assignments

All assignments may be posted anytime before midnight Thursday on the dates indicated below.

Introductory Posting, April 6 --  "Learning is enhanced when it is more like a team effort than a solo race. Good learning, like good work, is collaborative and social, not competitive and isolated. Working with others often increases involvement in learning. Sharing one's own ideas and responding to others' reactions sharpens thinking and deepens understanding."  This "team effort" is facilitated by knowing one another.  To this end, I ask that you would post a brief "Autobiography" on MOODLE.  Include the following points:  (We will view these during our first meeting on April 8.)

1) Tell something about yourself (married / single, family, where do you live, employment, interests, etc. )

2) Were you baptized Roman Catholic as an infant?  If you were not baptized Catholic when you were an infant, what has been your journey to the Catholic Church?

3)  Have you ever been seriously ill?  Have you ever been anointed during a communal celebration of the Sacrament of Anointing the Sick?  What did it feel like?

4)  Have you experienced the death of a loved one?  On this occasion was the ministry of the Church positive or negative?  Explain.

5) Describe your current ecclesial ministry (if applicable).

6) Explain why you are taking this particular course and what you want to learn.

7) List the courses you have taken so far toward the Master's degree at Saint Meinrad; list the course title and the name of the teacher.

8) In addition: It is very helpful if you would post a picture of yourself on MOODLE so that we are reminded who you are each timeas we read your postings.

((Weekend 1: April 8-9)

#1 April 13 -- /font The medical profession is devoted to curing the sick and relieving their suffering by a variety of means: surgical procedures, medicine, diet, physical therapies, etc. In what way can the Church, through its ministers, care for the sick and the dying? How can you continue the healing ministry of Jesus?

#2 April 20 --  Does suffering hold any positive value for the Christian? If so, what? Why did Jesus have to suffer? How can you relate the sufferings of Jesus to a sick member of the parish whom you might happen to be visiting?

#3 April 27 -- Explain how changes in Sacramental Theology have moved the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick from a private one-on-one encounter with the priest to a public celebration during the Sunday Eucharist. (E.g. anabatic/katabatic) Suggest three Sundays during the current Church Year (cycle A) on which Anointing would be appropriate. (The Sunday readings can be found at  http://usccb.org   Click on the date on the calendar in the upper right-hand corner of the website.)

#4 May 4 -- Show how the understanding of Extreme Unction (permitted by Benedict XVI in the Extraordinary Form) and the understanding of The Sacrament of Anointing the Sick are each based on a particular theology of sacrament (anabatic/katabatic) and on a particular understanding of the human being (body/soul, body-mind-spirit).

(Weekend 2: May 6-7)

#5 May 11 -- Pretend that a member of the parish where you are director of liturgy is going to receive Viaticum during Sunday Mass. Probably most members of the parish have never seen this sacrament. The pastor has asked you (because you have studied these things) to explain before Mass starts the meaning and significance of this Viaticum. What would you say to the parish? 

#6 May 18 -- What happens to the human person at death? What are the various theories? Which do you prefer? Why? What is the relationship between the death/resurrection of Jesus and our death?

#7 May 25 -- What are the principal ways in which the Church cares for the dead and the bereaved? What are the primary goals of this ministry? Explain how the Order of Christian Funerals (Vigil, Mass, Burial) helps the bereaved.

#8 June 1 -- Why do we pray for the dead? Which Catholic customs are useful in this regard and which you find less useful? 

(Weekend 3: June 3-4)

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Weekend 1: April 8-9

Saturday Aprl 8

9:00 - 11:50  Class in G158

1.  Getting acquainted.  Sharing of the autobiographies.
2.  Orientation. 
Orientation to my website www.tomrichstatter.org  d11 General Introduction to All of the Courses I Teach  The Iceberg Metaphor
3.  As the "Anointing of the Sick" is a sacrament, we will first review what has happened to "sacrament" in the last 50 years.  Sacramental Theology after the Second Vatican Council   Chapter d31 Sacrament     Sacrament / Mysterion / Sacramentum    Berakah     Anamnesis    Epiclesis    Lex Orandi     Ritual     Structure and Elements    Liturgical Law / Valid / Licit     Real Presence     Res et Sacramentum 

10:15-10:30  Break

Chapter s12 Introduction to 12:425 Anointing and Funerals  Key issues
Presentation of the Writing Assignments
Chapter d20 Overview of the History of Liturgy
Introduction to the Ten Finger Historical Grid

11:50 a.m. Break for lunch
1
2:00 Noon  Lunch
1:00 - 4:30 Class

DVD  "Sacrament of Anointing:  The Church's Prayer for the Sick." Franciscan Media DVD, D 2090, $19.95.  (17 min)
Sacram Unctione Infirmorum, Apostolic Constitution of Pope Paul Vi on the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick 
History of the Sacrament of Anointing: 
Chapter s29 Vatican II
 
Video:  Caring With Faith:  Training Ministers to the Sick:  Story 1

4:30 End of class period

Sunday April 9

8:00 - 9:00 Class

Chapter s31 The Mystery of Suffering

9:00 - 9:30 Room check out
9:30 - 11:00 Mass with Monastic Community (Archabbey Church) Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

11:15 - 11:55  Class

Chapter s31 The Mystery of Suffering     (Continued)

12:00 Noon  Lunch

1:00 PM

Chapter s31 The Mystery of Suffering     (Continued)
Caring With Faith:  Story 2.    Caring With Faith:  Story 3.  

4:30 End of class period

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Weekend 2: May 6-7

Saturday May 6

8:35 - 11:50 Class
1.  The minister of the anointing of the sick
2.  Any questions on the first three postings?
3.  Each participant will present their MOODLE posting response to question #4.  Discussion
4.  A brief word about:  online theology resources; private/public worship; how ill does the person have to be to be anointed

12:00 Noon -- 1:00 Lunch
1:00 -- 4:20 Class
1. 
Catholic Update: "Anointing the Sick: A Parish Sacrament".  Review of the most important things a parish should know about the sacrament.
2.  What does a celebration of the sacrament of anointing at the parish Sunday Eucharist look like?

3.  How do those present for the anointing but who are not anointed -- how do they "receive" the sacrament?
4.  V
iew Video #2: Responding to Grief (Series: Training Bereavement Ministers) Segment 1

Sunday May 7

8:15 - 10:00 Class
1.  Introduction:  Ministry to the dying, the dead, the bereaved
2.  Bibliography
3.  Chapeter f31:  The Mystery of Death
10:00 Room Check out
10:30 Mass with Seminarian Community
11:30 - 12:45 Lunch -- Newman Dinning Room
12:45 - 4:30 Class
1.  View Video #2: Responding to Grief (Series: Training Bereavement Ministers) Segments 2 & 3 and Teaching Segment
2.  History of the Church's Ministry to the Bereaved 
3.  The Christian Funeral
3. 
Overview of
upcoming assignments 5-8
4:30 End

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Weekend 3:  June 3-4

Saturday June 3

8:35 - 11:50
1.  Any questions on the MOODLE postings?-- The historical context in which the authors of the new rituals worked.--The writing of a ritual and the writing of the catechism compared. -- The "development of doctrine" and the "development of liturgical law."  Mass Stipends
2.  Chapter f 32  What Happens After Death?

3.  Each participant will present their MOODLE posting response to question #8.  Discussion
4.  End of Life Issues

12:00 -- 1:00 Lunch (Newman dinning room)
1:00 -- 5:00 Class
1.  Chapter F41 Order of Funerals  especially the "theological progression" in the funeral prayers
2.  PowerPoint:  The Cost of Funerals
2:30 class period ends
2:30-3:00 prepare for field trip
3:00-3:30 drive to Zoercher-Gillick Funeral Home, 920 10th Street, Tell City, IN 47586
3:30-5:00 Visit with Mr. Larry Hagedorn, Funeral Home director:  funeral planning, funeral costs, legal requirements, selecting the casket and grave liner, embalming procedures, etc.
5:30-7:00 Dinner at Patio Steak House
7:30?  Return to Saint Meinrad

Sunday June 4

8:15 - 9:15 Class
Chapter F41 Order of Funerals
9:30 -10:30 Mass St. Bede Chapel (Fr Tom Presiding) Pentecost Sunday
10:30 - 11:00 Room check out
11:00 - 12:00  Class

Chapter f31 The Mystery of Death

12:00 - 1:00 Lunch  (Newman dinning room)
1:00 -- 4:30 Class
View and discuss Video #3:  Funeral Planning (Series: Training Bereavement Ministers) Catholic Update Video, St. Anthony Messenger Press 1-800-488-0488 www.AmericanCatholic.org  V2092 ($39.95)
Explaining death to children
The Fall of Freddie the Leaf, by Leo Buscaglia
Process Comments

Don't forget to fill out the online Course Evaluation

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Participants
Summer 2017

1. Andrea M. Byrne
2. Shirley Casebolt
3. Mary Jane Choi
4. Pamela Doyle
5. Steve Hopf
6. Sandy Hornbach
7. Lawrence Morey, OCSO
8. John C.Morrison

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Copyright: Tom Richstatter.  All Rights Reserved.  This page was created by Fr. Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M.  Every effort has been, and is being made to acknowledge sources when the ideas are not my own.  Any failure to comply with the United States Copyright Act (Title 17, United States Code) will be corrected immediately should I become aware of it.  This site was updated on 06/01/17.  Your comments on this site are welcome at trichstatter@franciscan.org