A Day to Thank and Pray for Health Care Workers
By SACBC J&P – Justice and Peace in several dioceses organised a special day for health care workers to thank them for their selfless service during the pandemic. The images shown are from Mariannhill diocese, Bloemfontein archdiocese and Klerksdorp diocese.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the heroic efforts health workers on the front lines make every day to keep their communities —and our nation—safe and healthy.
In some dioceses, the chaplains and coordinators of Justice and Peace used the Sunday Mass on April 11 to pray for health care workers in their parishes. Parishioners committed health care workers, as well as the sick and the dying, to the healing and protection of Divine Mercy.
The representatives of health care workers included doctors, nurses, frail-care nurses, home-based care workers, paramedics and hospital staff/clinic staff.
The celebrations focused on the calling that health care workers have received to be an instrument of God’s healing mercy for the sick and the dying during the pandemic and beyond. Pope Francis has hailed them as “the saints next door”.
During the Mass, the priests invited the health care workers to come in front for a special blessing. The parishioners prayed for them so that, through God’s Divine Mercy, they become spiritually and physically strengthened in their vocation to the sick and the dying, who are themselves the face of the suffering Christ (Pope Benedict XVI 2011 –Message for the 19th World Day of the Sick).
Throughout the pandemic, Pope Francis has frequently praised and thanked the doctors, nurses, paramedics and other hospital staff for their courageous service to those struck by the virus. Using the image of the Church as the field hospital, in his message to mark international nurses day in May 2020, he referred to them as “an image of the Church as a ‘field hospital’ that continues to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ, who drew near to and healed people with all kinds of sickness and who stooped down to wash the feet of his disciples.” (Pope Francis’s message to mark International Nurses Day in May 2020).
He has also referred to them as the saints next door who bear witness to “God’s closeness to those who suffer; they have been silent craftsmen of the culture of closeness and tenderness. Many of them fell ill and some, unfortunately, died in the exercise of their profession. We remember them in prayer with much gratitude,” (Pope Francis, 20 June 2020).
Please support The Southern Cross
Your support means we can keep Catholic news alive so that many others will have free access to the high-quality, trustworthy news they deserve. We seek your support not simply to survive, but to grow in our mandate to share the Good News and keep you informed about your Church and Catholic faith.
Every contribution, however big or small, makes a difference. Support us today – it only takes a minute. Thank you.