CARDINAL CORMAC MurphyO’Connor presided at a special Mass for the sick in Westminster Cathedral on Saturday, March 14.
The Mass opened with a procession of banners portraying patron saints of nurses, doctors and hospital chaplains.
As the procession moved through the cathedral people raised lanterns in salute as a statue of Our Lady, held aloft by the socalled Red Caps from the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes, moved towards the sanctuary.
The Mass was attended by past pilgrims of the Diocese of Westminster pilgrimage to Lourdes, Red Caps who are young volunteers, as well as hospital chaplains, doctors and nurses.
Fr Peter Scott, healthcare chaplain for the Archdiocese of Westminster, said: “This year, the Church celebrates the 16th World Day of Prayer for the Sick. This is a time to pause, and be prayerfully in solidarity with the sick, and all who care for them.
“This special day of prayer was launched by Pope John Paul II.” In his opening message, 16 years ago, Pope John Paul II said: “The World Day of Prayer for the Sick is a call once again to all, to see in the face of their brother or sister who is sick the face of Christ who, suffering, dying and rising brought salvation to humanity.” Fr Scott also said Pope John Paul II combined the day of prayer with the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
He added: “Lourdes has long been noted as a shrine of healing and peace.
“This is the second year that Westminster diocese have brought together the families of the Lourdes diocesan pilgrimage, the sick, and the community of Catholic healthcare professionals; each praying for the other, each supporting and caring for the each other.” The sacred anointing of the sick, the sacrament formerly known as Extreme Unction, was administered during the Mass by bishops and priests of the archdiocese.
If you would like to know more about Catholic Healthcare projects within the Diocese of Westminster, please contact Fr Peter Scott on 0207 349 5609 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.