All health care professionals are invited to a Mass at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, celebrated by Bishop Donald Kettler at Sacred Heart Chapel of St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph.
Bishop Kettler will offer a special blessing during the Mass for the hands of health workers in recognition of the caring outreach practiced by those in medical professions. The St. Benedict’s Monastery Schola will lead the music.
“This year Crosier Brother Albert Becker will carry the cross in the procession of this rededication of the ministry of health care,” said Annette Jesh, parish health ministry program coordinator for the St. Cloud Hospital. “In Onamia, Brother Becker is the director of the National Shrine of St. Odilia, patroness of the blind.”
The procession will also include alumnae from the St. Cloud Hospital School of Nursing, she said.
A light reception in the Sacred Heart gathering space follows the Mass. Health care workers from all faiths are welcome to attend as well as family, friends and spouses.
“Jesus Christ calls us to be healers. Health care professionals are visible signs of the mercy and compassion he wants us to bring to others,” Bishop Kettler said. “This Mass is an opportunity to celebrate the gifts of health workers and their commitment to caring for the sick. We also want to thank them for their support of patients, families and fellow colleagues as they bring God’s healing presence to those in need.”
Masses honoring health care professionals are sometimes called “white Masses,” taking their name from the white coat most commonly worn by those in the medical field. The tradition of the Mass in the United States originated in the development of the national Catholic Medical Association in the early 1930s.
Two years ago, the tradition was reintroduced in this diocese. The Mass takes place just before the feast of St. Luke (Oct. 18), the patron saint of physicians and surgeons.
The collection taken during the Mass will benefit the Nursing Annual Scholarship Fund at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University.
The event is sponsored by the Diocese of St. Cloud, Sisters of St. Benedict, St. Cloud Hospital and St. Benedict Senior Community of CentraCare Health in partnership with the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University.