White Mass will be held on World Day of the Sick
By Catholic Spirit Staff
The 13th annual White Mass will be celebrated Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. at St. Theresa Parish in Austin. Bishop Joe Vásquez will celebrate the Mass, which will include the sacrament of the anointing of the sick.
This Mass, which is sponsored by the Austin Diocese and the Catholic Healthcare Guild, is intended for all Catholics working in health care as well as those in need of healing and anointing. Over the last few years, Bishop Joe Vásquez has inspired the Catholic Healthcare Guild to expand the vision of the White Mass. Formerly it was offered on the Feast of St. Luke (in October) to bless health care workers, this year the Mass has been moved to February and now will bless health care workers and those in need of healing.
The Mass will offer the opportunity for all who work in the health care arena to join in community with others in the ministry of healing and to receive the blessing of the bishop of Austin. The sacrament of the anointing of the sick will be also be administered for those who are seriously ill. Persons who would receive the sacrament include those whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age; those preparing for surgery, if the surgery is caused by serious illness; elderly people who have become notably weakened, even though no serious illness is present; seriously ill children who have sufficient use of reason to be strengthened by the sacrament; and those who have been anointed if they relapse after recovery or if the condition becomes more serious.
Those who wish to receive the anointing of the sick are asked to register with the Austin Diocese at www.austindiocese.org/calendar/events/13564/white-mass-and-anointing so arrangements can be made and so that space can be reserved. Those who would like to be anointed are encouraged to receive the sacrament of reconciliation prior to the White Mass. Catholic Healthcare Guild members will be present to assist those scheduled to receive the Anointing of the Sick and their family members when they arrive for the Mass.
An expansion of what was previously known as the Catholic Physicians Guild, the Catholic Healthcare Guild provides a supportive community for Catholics working in health care to gather for fellowship, formation and service. The guild is actively recruiting members. For more information, visit www.CatholicHCGuildofCentralTexas.org or
Celebration of the World Day of the Sick is also woven into the vision for the White Mass. Pope John Paul II designated Feb. 11 as the World Day of the Sick, “a special time of prayers and sharing, of offering one’s suffering for the good of the church and of reminding us to see in our sick brothers and sisters the face of Christ who, by suffering, dying, and rising, achieved the salvation of humankind” (Letter Instituting the World Day of the Sick, 1992).
The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is also celebrated on Feb. 11. The Marian apparitions at Lourdes were reported in 1858 by St. Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old miller’s daughter from the town of Lourdes in southern France. From Feb. 11 to July 16, 1858, she reported 18 apparitions of “a Lady.” Despite initial skepticism, the apparitions were declared to be worthy of belief after a canonical investigation. More than 5,000 cures have been attributed to Our Lady of Lourdes, with 65 of those cures designated as “miraculous” by the church.
A reception will immediately follow the White Mass.
For more information or to register to attend the Mass or receive the sacrament of anointing of the sick, visit www.austindiocese.org/calendar/events/13564/white-mass-and-anointing or contact Kathy Thomas at (512) 949-2429.