On 11 February, the Church celebrated the World Day of the Sick, instituted by Saint John Paul II in 1992 and first celebrated at Lourdes on 11 February 1993. This year’s theme was “Amazement at what God has accomplished: ‘The Almighty has don great things for me…’” (Lk 1:49).
Pope Francis in his message for the celebration said: “This Day is an opportunity to reflect in particular on the needs of the sick and, more generally, of all those who suffer. It is also an occasion for those who generously assist the sick, beginning with family members, health workers and volunteers, to give thanks for their God-given vocation of accompanying our infirm brothers and sisters. This celebration likewise gives the Church renewed spiritual energy for carrying out ever more fully that fundamental part of her mission which includes serving the poor, the infirm, the suffering, the outcast and the marginalized (cf. John Paul II, Motu Proprio Dolentium Hominum, 11 February 1985, 1).”
Holy Child Centre
The National launch of the 25th World Day of the Sick was held at Assin-Foso in the Central Region. Director of the Sekondi Diocese, Board of Director, Sr. Georgina, Sr. Margaret, Sr. Anastasia, and members of staff from Fijai and Egyam attended the Western Region launch on Sunday 5th February at the Star of the Sea Cathedral, in Takoradi.
Words of encouragement were shared to motivate staff and also thank them for generously assist the sick. The celebration was an opportunity to reflect in particular on the needs of the sick and, more generally, on all those who suffer.
It was an educative event. It reminded us how important everybody is irrespective of the person’s condition.
It was also an occasion for those who generously assist the sick, beginning with family members; health workers and volunteers, to thank for their God-given vocation of accompanying our infirm brothers and sisters.
On Saturday 11th February a mass was held at Holy Child Health Centre to climax the celebration. Father Eric Kwasi Elliason, director of Sekondi Diocese, presided the mass. Staff were encouraged to work diligently in the interest of the sick and also treat every patient equally.
St. Francis Xavier Hospital
St Francis Xavier Hospital hosted the National Launching of the 25th World Day of the Sick took place in the hospital. The event was graced with the presence of the Archbishop of Cape Coast and other members of the catholic community; other religious communities; representatives from National Catholic Health Service and Christian Health Association of Ghana amongst many others.
Hospital staff felt enriched by the experience and appreciated. Some retired members of staff were also awarded for their long service to the hospital.
The patients who were present felt gratified to be remembered and prayed for on a national scale.
It was an occasion to reflect on the needs of the sick and all those who suffer. It was also an opportunity for family members, health workers and all those who assist the infirm to offer praise to God for the strength to accompany the sick.
The celebration also gave the faith community the renewed spiritual strength for carrying out its mandate which includes taking care of all those who are hurting. The event reaffirmed the hospitality values. We all have a responsibility towards the suffering and must do so with respect.
St. Augustine’s Home
To celebrate the 25th World Day of the Sick, they started by having a piano concert by Angela Noble, an accomplished pianist who played a few very moving pieces, some of which were accompanied by all of us singing.
This was followed by a time of prayer, praise and thanksgiving to God for the lives of the sick, and a prayer of petition for the sick and for those who help them. They also read the letter of Pope Francis for the occasion. During this time of prayer the catholic residents received Holy Communion.
This celebration also gives the Church renewed spiritual energy for carrying out even more fully that fundamental part of her mission which includes serving the poor, the infirm, the suffering, the outcast and the marginalised.
Angela left a note in reception:
Dear Sr Isabel, I would like to write a note to say that, as ever here there is a most welcoming atmosphere where care and kindness and genuine compassion so obviously contribute hugely towards the sunset days of the many charming residents here at St. Augustine.
Christ the King Care Home
They held a service in the residents’ sitting room to remember all the sick people, especially those who will be at Lourdes asking our Mother Mary to intercede for them and to be touched by the Lord’s healing power. We all need healing of body and soul and the grace to be able to accept the suffering with patience and peace.
We brought to mind all the people suffering in this world for one reason or another.
St. Teresa’s Home
On the 11th of February, Cardinal Vincent Nichols Archbishop of Westminster celebrated a Solemn Mass at Westminster Cathedral with many other priests, especially the Chaplains of hospitals.
In the homily, Cardinal Vincent said that this Mass has been always very dear and especial to him. During the Mass the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick was administered. The Cardinal Anointed all the sick people in wheelchairs and also gave them Holy Communion.
It was amazing and encouraging to see so many young people helping the sick. The whole celebration was unique and hard to forget it; left in you a sense of gratitude and holiness.
At the centre, Sister Isabel opened the celebration with wonderful words explaining the importance of the day which is celebrated not only by the Catholic Church but worldwide.
After, the inspiring message from the Pope was read by the home manager Sara, Mrs. Brooke, and two sisters. It touched everyone, and most residents expressed so by joining the bidding prayers after the reading. Many spontaneous good wishes and prayers were said hoping for the best outcomes and recovery for families and people who are sick and suffer around the world.
Joining hands together at the end we said the prayer for the Sick – our lady of Lourdes and the celebration ended with a glass of sherry and sweets.