Sacred Heart of Jesus Church - Serving the Communities of South Bend and Lakeville, Indiana
An important consideration, please:  With both parishes, there is the growing awareness of those who come to church alone, who also may be older, and who could very easily have an emergency need while at church as much as anywhere else in the city.  How would we know who to call if you became ill, had to be taken to the hospital, or simply needed someone to come for you?  We should have an I.C.E. (in case of emergency) contact for you on record in our office(s).  You should also have these in your cell phone or on a piece of paper in your wallet!  It is very important!  
       
Please consider calling either office, respectively, with an emergency contact person (or two) for you, just in case.  For that matter, you should do that for us regardless of your age.  The information would not be given out or put into any directory, but I would ask each secretary to print out those names and numbers on a list for me to keep in the sacristy, just in case.  
        
Please follow through on this for your safety when on our grounds and for our being able to follow-up on any pastoral care you may need at some time.  
        
We have members who we don’t see for a period of time.  Are they on vacation,  in Florida for the winter, sick and at home,  moved to another parish, or in a Nursing Home?  Who’s to know?  Do you need Holy Communion brought to you because you are now homebound?  Many never let us know.  Do they not care about receiving the Sacraments?  Do they not understand (after all these years) the great importance of receiving Our Lord in the Eucharist, when no longer able to come to Holy Mass?  Or if they are laid up for a 4-5 week period, recovering from something?  WE DO CARE!  Please keep us informed.

One of our two local hospitals is notoriously remiss on taking your information insofar as your parish affiliation when you are admitted.  We’ve “fought the battle” with them, along with several other parishes who have made an issue of it, and seem to get nowhere.  When we call and give our parish number and ask if there is anyone there listed as our member, they never have a record!  The only way we can know you are in the hospital (especially there) is if you call us, your family member calls us, or we can find out from calling your I.C.E. number you provide for us.  If we don’t see you for several Sunday’s, or receive your envelope (which is a good way for us to know if you have been present from week to week), we can do follow-up, if you help us to know who to call.  A parish is and can be a “true family” if you want it to be for you!  We try to look out for one another when the members are willing to help us do so.  
      
I realize there are always those who want to be very anonymous, never get involved, just come and go, put in a dollar, and simply do not understand what it means to be a Catholic belonging to a parish home.  Such will always be the case, I suppose—sadly, but please don’t be one of them!  There is much love in a parish to be enjoyed, if only you open your heart to the possibility.  Part of this is your ongoing pastoral care should you be wrenched out of the mainstream due to extended illness.  Call in your “in case of emergency” information or drop a note with it on it in the next week’s collection basket!

- Fr. John