Friday, August 15, 2008

The Healing Touch

The healing ministry and Father Grinnell are highlighted in a special In Focus section of the August 17 2008 issue of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper. The main article, “Healing ministries bring comfort those who are hurting,” describes the healing ministries of the Catholic Church in detail and quotes Father Grinnell:

“...Actual cures from the healing services are rarely authenticated, but physical, emotional and spiritual cures are occurring, said Father Tuck Grinnell, moderator of the Catholic Healing Ministries of the Diocese of Arlington, Va.”

“‘I tell people I can’t guarantee if they are going to be healed of cancer, or diabetes, or their depression, but if they have a contrition I can guarantee their sins will be forgiven when I invite them also to go to confession,’ said Father Grinnell. ‘If you are carrying a burden and you want to lay it down tonight – do it...’”

“The norms for Masses with healing services include prayers for healing within the Mass during the general intentions and often a blessing of the prayer ministers. After the Mass concludes, prayer ministers, often including the priest celebrant, stand in positions around the church and people come up to be blessed and prayed over, said Father Grinnell, who is the pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Falls Church, Va. Father Grinnell has celebrated healing services almost monthly for 18 years in the Arlington diocese.”

“‘We have a regular Mass, and the only thing different is after the general intercession we say a prayer over the prayer ministers’ who then pray over those who come up for a blessing after the conclusion of Mass, said Father Grinnell, who said he has no special healing gift.”

“Each service always includes a priest hearing confession, and at times Father Grinnell will hear confessions rather than joining in the laying on of hands if there is not a priest to hear confessions, he said.”

“‘There are some marvelous healings – some emotional, some physical, some spiritual,’ Father Grinnell said. ‘The reason I am so committed is it yields a great deal of spiritual peace. There is a beauty about the fact that everyone is there praying for themselves or someone else. It doesn’t sound very exciting but it yields some beautiful stuff.’”

A sidebar article, “Physician reminded that ‘nothing is impossible with God’ after healing,” describes the inspiring story of Dr. Rex Ruiz and his experience of the healing ministry in at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Vienna, VA. The article also describes the beginnings of the healing ministry in Arlington diocese and Father Grinnell’s role in it.

“One of the several stories of healings related by the administrator of the Arlington (Va.) diocese’s healing ministry is that of a medical doctor [Dr. Ruiz] and married father of young children….Catherine Griffin, administrator of the Arlington Diocese Catholic Healing Ministries, said Ruiz’s recovery is one at which she marvels. Griffin helped found the ministry after she found consolation through a healing service in Baltimore after the unexpected death of her husband from cancer. She asked parish priest Father Tuck Grinnell to moderate the ministry, and he has celebrated a special Mass 11 months a year since 1990 at various churches in the Arlington diocese.”

For more information about the healing ministry in the Arlington diocese, visit their web site The next Mass and healing service will be on Thursday, September 18th at Saint John the Apostle Catholic Church in Leesburg, VA at 7:30 pm. The 18th Anniversary Mass and healing service will be on Friday, October 17th here at Saint Anthony of Padua at 7:30 pm. As Father Grinnell describes, the Mass and healing service is a wonderful spiritual and healing experience; if you know someone who is ill but cannot attend the Mass and service, you can also attend in their place to pray for them or have them prayed for.

If you would like to read the full articles in the OSV newspaper, please come by the parish office (open 9am to 9pm Monday through Friday). For information about Our Sunday Visitor visit their web site

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