Dublin Diocese will is marking the World Day of the Sick 2019 with a conference, Mass and the publication of an updated version of their ‘I am with you’ prayer book.

The World Day of the Sick 2019 conference will take place on 9 February 2019 in All Hallows, Drumcondra (9:30am to 1.00pm) on the topic Community struggle with addiction – A Pastoral response.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will preside at Mass for World Day of the Sick on 10 February 2019 in Corpus Christi at 3.00pm.

A renewed edition of the accessible and popular prayer book ‘I Am With You’ has been published ahead of the 27th World Day of the Sick which will be celebrated on 11 February, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. The prayer book is offered to those experiencing suffering and illness, for those caring for those who are facing sickness, for personal prayer on many occasions – in parish – at home – in hospital – healthcare facilities – for pastoral visitation of the sick and carers and as a pastoral gift on First Friday calls. Additional copies of the prayer book, unit price €1.95, are available from Ms Anne Donnellan, Archbishop’s House, Dublin 9, Tel 8379253, Extension 245 and from veritas.ie

World Day of the Sick was introduced by Saint Pope John Paul II in 1992 and celebrated for the first time the following year. This year the main World Day of the Sick celebration will be in Kolkata in India, where Saint Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity and order, noted for its work in helping the sick, the crippled, the blind, the infirm and the dying.

Pope Francis has published his message for World Day of the Sick and in it he expresses admiration for Saint Mother Teresa as “a model of charity who made visible God’s love for the poor and the sick”.

He says, “Saint Mother Teresa helps us understand that our only criterion of action must be selfless love for every human being, without distinction of language, culture, ethnicity or religion. Her example continues to guide us by opening up horizons of joy and hope for all those in need of understanding and tender love, and especially for those who suffer.

“Generosity inspires and sustains the work of the many volunteers who are so important in health care and who eloquently embody the spirituality of the Good Samaritan. I express my gratitude and offer my encouragement to all those associations of volunteers committed to the transport and assistance of patients, and all those that organise the donation of blood, tissues and organs.

“One particular area in which your presence expresses the Church’s care and concern is that of advocacy for the rights of the sick, especially those affected by pathologies requiring special assistance. I would also mention the many efforts made to raise awareness and encourage prevention. Your volunteer work in medical facilities and in homes, which ranges from providing health care to offering spiritual support, is of primary importance.”

The Pope told carers and volunteers: “Countless persons who are ill, alone, elderly or frail in mind or body benefit from these services, I urge you to continue to be a sign of the Church’s presence in a secularised world.”

You can read the full text of the Pope’s message for World Day of the Sick on www.catholicbishops.ie.

ENDS