800 gather for World Day of the Sick Mass

By Jordan Grantham, 19 May 2017
Bishop Vincent anoints the frail at the Mass for the Sick 2017. Photo: Diocese of Parramatta

One of the treasures of the Church, the sick and frail, gathered on Thursday 9 February 2017 for Mass offered by Most Rev Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta. The Mass was held on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes for World Day of the Sick. 800 people gathered from 10am at St Patrick’s Church, Blacktown.

“I welcome all of you, especially the sick and the elderly,” Bishop Vincent said.

To view images from the Mass for the Sick 2017, click here.

The Mass was concelebrated with many priests and chaplains from across the Diocese. St Gabriel’s Primary School, Ephpheta Centre for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People, Catholic Healthcare, 
Dominican Sisters of Malta, 
Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth and Staff of St John of God Health Care were there. Staff from CatholicCare and the agencies of the Diocese attended. Many devoted carers, supporters, family and friends were also present.

Bishop Vincent connected caregivers’ lives to the lives of Jesus, Mary and the unknown servants from the day’s Gospel, the Wedding at Cana.

“My brothers and sisters, the self-giving that Pope Francis invites us to embrace is quite evident in today’s Gospel – in the actions of Jesus – in the concern of Mary – and in the efforts of unknown servants who were willing to go beyond themselves for the well-being of others.”

“Let us pray that the miracle at Cana may happen again in our lives and in our church. May we learn the rhythm of dying and rising, of letting the new wine flow in place of the old,” Bishop Vincent said.

St Dominic’s College, Kingswood provided a talented band to support the hymns.

Come As You Are, One Bread One Body and Jesus, Come to Us were given an upbeat bongo drum backing.

Two children from St Gabriel’s School for students with special needs brought up the gifts in the offertory procession, which were received by Bishop Vincent.

There were profound encounters when Bishop Vincent and other priests anointed the hands and foreheads of the sick and frail with holy oil for the Sacrament of Anointing.

The Sacrament of Anointing, is usually one of the last sacraments people receive; “the sacraments that prepare for our heavenly homeland” (CCC #1525). It is aimed at the spiritual and physical healing of the infirm.

Many frail and ill people approached the priests with courage and humility. Some had difficulty walking and others were anointed in their wheelchairs.

This year was Charlie Grima’s first Mass for the Sick. Seven years ago he was paralysed in a workplace industrial accident. Mr. Grima is a parishioner of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Greystanes.

After the Mass, Mr Grima commented, “It was very nice.”

“It was a very special Mass,” Charlie’s wife Carmen said. She also said the hymns, including the concluding Lourdes Hymn, gave her goose bumps. She would also like to thank the carers who help care for Mr. Grima.

To view images from the Mass for the Sick 2017, click here.

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