Bringing Lourdes to Aged Care Centres in Victoria
In Victoria, as well as the annual Lourdes Day Mass held on the first Saturday of December at St Patrick’s Cathedral, members of the Order hold Lourdes Masses at various Catholic aged care centres throughout the year.
The most recent Lourdes Mass was held on Tuesday 12 March at Rosary Home for the Aged and was attended by some 60 of the residents. Mass was celebrated by Fr Gerald O’Collins, a chaplain of the Order, who gave each resident present the anointing of the sick and blessed those present with Lourdes water. All attendees received a gift pack comprising a small bottle of Lourdes water, rosary beads and prayer cards.
“The residents in our aged care homes are unable, for reasons of age and infirmity, to make the pilgrimage to Lourdes and most are also unable, for the same reasons, to make their way to the city for the annual Lourdes Day Mass, so the Order brings Lourdes to them” explains Confrere Sauro Antonelli, the Order of Malta’s Hospitaller for the South East Region. “This is consistent with the Order’s mission of caring for Our Lords the Sick.”
Currently, Members of the Order and the Order’s chaplains bring Lourdes to ten aged care facilities in Victoria, in addition to the annual Lourdes Day Mass at St Patrick’s, to which everyone is welcome.