Father Joseph Manship, priest chaplain at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center and St. Mary’s d’Youville Pavilion in Lewiston, was the principal celebrant and homilist. Concelebrating was Father Paul Dumais, priest chaplain at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.
During his homily, Father Manship told those gathered, “In small and in big ways, we Christians are all called to be ministers and caregivers of the healing light of Christ.”
He thanked Jesus for “calling us to participate in your healing ministry.”
Father Manship offered prayers on behalf of Bishop Richard Malone, apostolic administrator of the diocese, and asked for God’s blessings upon all who care for the sick.
“Bless all of us who serve in this healing ministry and strengthen us so that we may be your compassionate presence to others. Bless our patients and their families who need to feel that you are with them. May we never forget that you minister to us through them as well,” he prayed.
Prayers were also offered for the sick, their family members and their caregivers; for hospitals, nursing homes, hospice centers and all facilities that care for the sick and dying; for those in public office that they may seek ways to guarantee adequate healthcare for all; for the dying, that they may be reassured of their dignity by receiving compassionate care; and for society, that we may treasure all persons as gifts from God, especially the weak and vulnerable.
The White Mass is held in February to coincide with the World Day of Prayer for the Sick, which is celebrated on February 11, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. It was instituted by Blessed John Paul II in 1992 as "a special time of prayer and sharing, of offering one's suffering for the good of the Church and of reminding everyone to see in his sick brother or sister the face of Christ" (Letter Instituting World Day of the Sick, May 13, 1992).
The White Mass is named for the color of the vestments worn on the day. White is often associated with the medical profession