1983 Code of Canon Law:
Can. 529 §1. In order to fulfill his office diligently, a pastor is to strive to know the faithful entrusted to his care.
Therefore he is to visit families, sharing especially in the cares, anxieties, and griefs of the faithful, strengthening them in the Lord, and prudently correcting them if they are failing in certain areas. With generous love he is to help the sick, particularly those close to death, by refreshing them solicitously with the sacraments and commending their souls to God; with particular diligence he is to seek out the poor, the afflicted, the lonely, those exiled from their country, and similarly those weighed down by special difficulties. He is to work so that spouses and parents are supported in fulfilling their proper duties and is to foster growth of Christian life in the family.
A Parish Pastoral Directory, edited by William Dalton, (Dublin: The Columba Press, 1996), p. 28, quoted in Durkan, John. “The Priest and Home Visitation.” The Furrow 48, no. 9 (1997), pp. 481–82:
A systematic pastoral visitation of homes is an indispensable instrument of pastoral care and is not to be equated with a mere social calling on people. This enables the priest to get to know his people and their concerns. An active ministry of presence, where the Church becomes visible by going into the homes of people including those who feel alienated and estranged, becomes the touchstone for effective ministry. The ministry of the priest in his parish is as much one of compassion as it is one of conversion. The more the Church is brought into the homes of her sons and daughters, the more likely they are to bring themselves into the house of God. It is through a ministry of compassionate presence that the more explicit proclamation of the Word becomes possible. Home visitation is therefore at the very heart of evangelisation. Every parish should have some form of regular programme for calling on parishioners or engaging in home visitation. Priests should make it a priority to visit a certain number of homes each year and if possible each week. The very vast majority of people appreciate being visited by their priest. Each priest should have a register of the people in the area of the parish assigned to him.