2022 Our Lady of Lourdes World Day of the Sick Mass in Adelaide
Report by Noel Mifsud, Southern Region Hospitaller
The Catholic Church’s World Day of the Sick, established by St John Paul II, is held annually on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Consoeur Mary Kennedy, Confrère Tony Smith (and wife Helen) and I, attended the 2022 Our Lady of Lourdes World Day of the Sick Mass on Friday February 18. Over 300 sick and elderly parishioners gathered in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral .
In his Homily Fr Anthoni Adimai reminded us of Pope Francis’ message to mark the 30th World Day of the Sick on February 11, recognising the importance of Health Workers across the globe as infection rates and deaths from COVID-19 continue to rise.
This year’s theme was ‘Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful’, taken from Luke’s Gospel. In a message from Pope Francis he said: “Dear healthcare workers, your service alongside the sick, carried out with love and competence, transcends the bounds of your profession and becomes a mission.“ Your hands, which touch the suffering flesh of Christ, can be a sign of the merciful hands of the Father. Be mindful of the great dignity of your profession, as well as the responsibility that it entails.”
Bishop Karol Kulczycki SDS, the Bishop Delegate for Health for the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said: “Fulfilling Jesus’ call to the ministry of healing, the Catholic Church was at the forefront of the development of hospitals around the world and remains at the forefront of providing care, including through the pandemic. We honour those who are carrying out the healing ministry in the name of Christ, the Divine Healer and the inspiration of our service for all through our hospitals, aged care and other services.”
Members of the Order, ever mindful of our call to serve Our Lords the Sick and the Poor, humbly welcomed parishioners and visitors to the Mass. We participated in the opening procession and distributed over 200 bottles of Lourdes water after Mass. This service was a gentle reminder of our call to be hands on in our service as members of the Order. It was a deeply moving experience; to serve in solidarity with the Catholic community and members of the Order; to listen to the stories of the sick, to be agents of God’s hope and unconditional love and to serve in solidarity with the sick and poor globally.