World Day of the Sick Mass at Christ Cathedral
Garden Grove, Calif. (Feb. 7, 2022) — Bishop Kevin Vann will anoint the sick and bless caregivers with holy water brought from in Lourdes, France, during the World Day of the Sick Mass at Christ Cathedral at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 12.
The theme chosen for the 30th World Day of the Sick is “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). The annual Mass is sponsored by the Orange County chapter of the Order of Malta, an ancient Catholic religious order dating to 1048 A.D.
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.
“As Christians, caring for the sick is an essential part of our ministry, particularly during these pandemic times,” said Bishop Kevin Vann. “We as a Church and as a society, more than ever, must never fail to recognize our most vulnerable or fail to recognize all those who care for the infirmed. Often they are right in front of us, and we can easily overlook the needs of the sick and suffering whom the Lord presents to us. This would be a good month to actually review and pray the Church’s Liturgy for the care of the sick. Together, we will pray for caregiver and patients’ physical health and strength, as well as for their spiritual and emotional needs.”
The holy water that will be used in the ceremony is recognized for its divine healing powers. It comes from the grotto in Lourdes, France, where Mary, the mother of Jesus, appeared 18 times to St. Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.
World Day of the Sick is an observation first started in 1992 by Pope St. John Paul II 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.
The Order of Malta — whose full name is the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta — is an ancient Catholic order founded in Jerusalem in 1048 A.D. The order has long focused on its 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 order’s Western Association includes the Orange County chapter, which currently has 96 members. The Western Association is based in Oakland, Calif., and has partnerships with more than 50 charities. Chapters are located throughout the western United States, including Idaho, Hawaii, Washington, California and Arizona.
The Western Association’s charitable activities include volunteer hours and financial contributions in support of free clinics, parish nurse programs, hurricane relief, tsunami relief, pilgrimages to Lourdes, grants to local charities and Defense of the Faith grants.
About the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange
With 1.3 million Catholics, 56 parishes, five Catholic centers and 35 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 Bishop of Orange, was dedicated in July 2019.
Learn more about the Diocese of Orange at www.rcbo.org.
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