Garden Grove, Calif., (February 3, 2020) – The Most Rev. Timothy Freyer, Auxiliary Bishop of Orange, will anoint the sick and bless caregivers during World Day of the Sick Mass at Christ Cathedral at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 with holy water brought from in Lourdes, France.
This year’s World Day of the Sick theme as declared by Pope Francis is, ““Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt: 11:28)
Sponsored annually by the Orange Chapter of the Order of Malta, the Diocese of Orange’s multilingual Mass will mark the first World Day of the Sick ceremony in the recently dedicated Christ Cathedral, located at 13280 Chapman Avenue in Garden Grove, formerly known as Rev. Robert Schuller’s world-renowned Crystal Cathedral.
Anointing of the sick by an ordained priest is one of the seven sacred sacraments, rituals performed in the Roman Catholic Church to confer grace through the Holy Spirit.
“We are called as Christians to care for the sick as part of our ministry,” Bishop Freyer said. “Our society often overlooks its most vulnerable and fails to appreciate the dedication of those who care for the sick and infirmed.
“I look forward to blessing both the ill and their caregivers with the healing water of Lourdes,” he continued. “Together we will pray for patients’ spiritual, emotional, and physical healing and strength.”
The holy water to be used in the ceremony is recognized for its divine healing power and comes from the grotto where Mary, the mother of Jesus, appeared 18 times to St. Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.
World Day of the Sick is an observation started by St. Pope John Paul II in 1992 as a way for believers to offer prayers for those suffering from illnesses. The day coincides with the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes. People from throughout the world pray for the sick and for those who work to alleviate the sufferings of the sick.
An ancient Catholic religious order founded in 1050, the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and Malta, better known as the Order of Malta, is an ancient religious Catholic Order founded in Jerusalem in 1048 AD. The Order has long focused on its Hospitaller works aimed at helping the sick and the poor. Its own Rule borrows from the Rule of St. Benedict and the Benedictine tradition. It operates in over 40 countries throughout the world and sponsors thousands of projects.
The Western Association of the Order in the United States was formed 55 years ago, has more than 700 members and is headquartered in San Francisco. The Order of Malta Orange County with 75 members is part of the Western Association, which includes both Knights and Dames, primarily from California, Arizona and Washington states.
The Western Association’s charitable activities include volunteer hours and financial contributions in support of free clinics, parish nurse programs, Hurricane Katrina relief, tsunami relief, pilgrimage to Lourdes, grants to local charities and Defense of the Faith grants.
About the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange
With 1.3 million Catholics, 57 parishes, 5 Catholic centers, and 41 schools, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange is one of the largest and most diverse faith communities in the United States. The Diocese empowers Catholics across Orange County to have an active life of faith that is integrated and woven into the fabric of their daily lives through the community and sacramental life of the Church. Under the leadership of Bishop Kevin Vann, the Diocese works to establish and support dynamic, vibrant parishes and schools welcoming all to live the Gospel with faith, joy, charity and unity. Christ Cathedral, the spiritual home of the Diocese, was dedicated in July 2019.
Learn more about the Diocese of Orange at https://www.rcbo.org.
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