COMPASSIONATE HEALERS’ MASS — People involved in Catholic health care were asked to stand and holding lit candles were re-commissioned to continue their healing work at the eighth annual Compassionate Healers’ Mass. Shown here, from left, are: Sandy Normand, Sandra Kary and Bonnie Theile Hunt. (Flegel photo)

Compassionate Healers Mass held in Regina

By Frank Flegel

REGINA — “Caring for the sick is a very special ministry,” said Regina Archbishop Daniel Bohan in his greeting for the eighth annual Compassionate Healer’s Mass held Oct. 1 in Holy Family Church.

The archbishop based his homily on the evening mass readings in which Peter healed a crippled beggar as he and James were about to enter the temple. Peter told the beggar to look at him and healed him as they looked at each other. Bohan said the description of the encounter reminded him of what Pope Francis has said about giving alms.

“And when you give alms do you look into the eyes of the people you give them to?” he quoted Francis. “What Jesus teaches us is first to meet and after meeting to help. We need to know how to meet. We need to build, to create, to construct a culture of encounter,” Bohan continued the quote. “The apostles knew all about the culture of encounter. They walked with the healed cripple into the temple.”

Peter worked a miracle, said Bohan, and we don’t see that very often, nor were many of the sick in Jesus’ time miraculously healed, but Jesus did have a message for them; to come to him with their heavy burdens and he will give them rest.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls,” the archbishop quoted Jesus from Scripture.

That’s the essence of what Catholic health care is all about, said the archbishop. “It is creating a culture of encounter with all who come to us. It says to people: I see the burden you carry. Come to us and we will give you rest. Come and we will lighten your burden a bit.”

Bohan said the church can do what Jesus did. The church can heal.

Catholic health care is all about relationships, person to person. “We bring healing in many ways, but always in a culture of encounter, of a relationship of caring and out of this comes healing.”

A brief commissioning service was held immediately after the homily. People involved in Catholic health care at whatever level were asked to stand and holding lit candles were re-commissioned to continue their healing work. Bohan reminded everyone present that “we are all called to be healers.”

Catholic Health Care Association of Saskatchewan (CHAS) executive director Sandra Kary thanked everyone for coming. “It allows us to focus on the healing grace of Christ,” she said of the mass.

A reception prepared by members of the Holy Family Catholic Womens’ League was offered in the church hall following the mass. (See related story.)

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