In the larger hospitals ( e.g. Gulfport Memorial Hospital), there are generally chaplains (both Catholic and Protestant) available to visit with you. If you or your family need general spiritual support or prayer, let your nurse know.
Parishes in the Bay St. Louis and surrounding areas minister to the needs of patients in Hancock General Hospital in Bay St. Louis. Local pastors visit on certain days during the week. Various Eucharistic Minister bring Communion to the hospital during the week. Our Lady of the Gulf parish lay minister (Patricia Baird) brings Communion to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon and on Sunday morning.
Be sure that you or your family tells the clerk upon every admission that you are Catholic. If you want yourself or a loved one to be visited by a Catholic chaplain or lay hospital minister while you are in the hospital, you must list your religious preference. Otherwise those ministers will not know you are in the hospital and may be prevented from visiting you due to the 1996 HIPAA ( Health and Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ) law, intended to protect the privacy and records of the patient.
If you are anticipating a hospitalization or surgery, whenever possible, please see your pastor ahead of time for the Sacrament of the Sick.
Some hospitals have Eucharistic Ministry volunteers who will bring you Holy Communion. Communion is generally offered to all Catholics listed on the census as Catholic.
If you need the Sacrament of the Sick or Confession in the evening, night or weekend but can wait until the next day, please say so. This will help the priest to arrange his schedule to meet your needs.
Most hospitals have a priest available for your sacramental needs. When your spiritual needs are not sacramental there are often qualified chaplains, who are professionally trained in spiritual care, to help you and your family through a health crisis.