LOS ANGELES – Shortly before midnight on New Year’s Eve, Father Gergorio Hidalgo went to a hospital to give Communion to a patient. But a “mistake” in room numbers allowed him to administer the sacraments to a dying woman as well.
“Last night I went to the hospital at 11:32 p.m. for an emergency. By mistake, I go to the wrong room. Patient is dying. Confession, anointing, communion and then she passed away 2 hours later. Best mistake I have ever made. THANK YOU GOD FOR USING MY MISTAKES,” the priest, better known as Father Goyo, posted on Twitter.
Goyo, 44, is the vicar of Saint Rose of Lima Parish in Simi Valley, which is part of metro Los Angeles. He was born in La Villa de Don Fadrique, a Spanish municipality in Spain’s Toledo Province, and was ordained June 4, 2016.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles assigned him to Simi Valley Hospital to spiritually care for the patients.
He explained what happened that day at the hospital.
“The person in charge of the office told me there was someone who wanted to receive Communion. It wasn’t an emergency but that woman wanted to receive Communion because it was the last day of the year,” he said.
However, the staff member accidentally wrote down the wrong room number.
When he got to the room, Goyo saw a woman lying in the bed and thought she was the one who had called for a priest.
“A person there, who could have been a relative, told me she was very sick and that she was dying. I approached the woman and asked her if she wanted to go to confession and she told me yes,” he said.
After hearing her confession, Goyo gave her the Anointing of the Sick, as well as a tiny fragment of the Eucharist.
“In my mind I thought she was the person they had called me for,” the priest said. “For me it was a very normal moment, very much from God, full of joy, because I thought that it was very beautiful to bring God to someone at the end of the year.”
As he left the room, Goyo asked a nurse the last name of the person he had visited. When the nurse told him the name, the priest realized he had gone into the wrong room. He then went on to see the person he was originally called to visit.
“It seemed even more beautiful to me. That God had used a mistake of mine, that I didn’t even know about until afterwards, in order to do something so wonderful. It was amazing because it wasn’t spectacular,” the priest said.
Goyo said that the dying woman’s faced showed “a lot of peace and tranquility.”
“It was a great way to start the year, remembering that God is with us, not just in the Nativity scene we have in the church, but also in everyday things.”
This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.