The Right Reverend Thomas Williams, Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool and Chair of the Healthcare Reference Group of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, has celebrated Mass for the 19th World Day of Prayer for the Sick.
The Mass took place in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King on Sunday 6 February, ahead of the World Day of Prayer on Friday 11 February, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Hospital Chaplains and 200 people, including many who work in healthcare, heard Bishop Williams say: ‘The celebration of the World Day of Prayer for the Sick is also a celebration of those who care for the sick, those who are involved at every level. It is important to realise that we all need the support of others.’ He spoke of the need for prayer for those who go into ‘extraordinary situations’ and who do ‘extraordinary things’.
The Bishop, himself a Hospital Chaplain for many years, urged the congregation to remember that in their work they are ‘dealing with a patient, a person; not a disease or an illness but a person.’ He continued: ‘Does “professional” mean you do not care or you do not think about a situation? Being professional is not just about being paid; it is all about having a sense of giving and wanting and putting our hearts into all that we do. We do it because, difficult as it is, we love doing it.’
Copies of the message of Pope Benedict XVI for the Word Day of Prayer were distributed at the Mass and Bishop Williams concluded by saying: ‘The World Day of Prayer for the Sick is about being sensitive to ourselves as well as being sensitive to others. To realise that the faith is not just a personal, private thing; our faith is something that we share and unite in. As a Church we are with you and support you and may your faith and the love of the Lord strengthen you.’