Extra hospital duties add to priests’ heavy workload

In Chicago, concern over the shortage of priests to perform the sacrament for the ill has been heightened by the upcoming move of Children’s Memorial Hospital to downtown from the Lincoln Park neighborhood. That move, scheduled to take place in 2012, will stretch even further the ability of the priests at nearby Holy Name Cathedral, who already serve patients at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, to offer the sacrament of the sick to patients. “We’re being called because we’re the neighbor,” said Rev. Dan Mayall, pastor of Holy Name. “As the number of priests shrinks and as we get older, it becomes more difficult to do the job we’re assigned to.”