Praise for health workers and the sick

Friday is the World Day of the Sick where we pay tribute to the great work of Catholic health institutions in Australia and around the world.

The importance of the work conducted by health workers has never been more evident than during the past two years as they have been on the frontline dealing with COVID-19. The elderly in nursing homes and those who have been hospitalised with serious illness have especially benefited from the wonderful care provided by our health care workers, including doctors, nurses and paramedics.

In his message to mark the 30th World Day of the Sick on February 11, Pope Francis spoke directly to health care workers, recognising the importance of their work as infection rates and deaths from COVID-19 continue to rise around the world.

This year’s theme is ‘Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful’, taken from Luke’s Gospel.

Pope Francis says, “Dear healthcare workers, your service alongside the sick, carried out with love and competence, transcends the bounds of your profession and becomes a mission.

“Your hands, which touch the suffering flesh of Christ, can be a sign of the merciful hands of the Father. Be mindful of the great dignity of your profession, as well as the responsibility that it entails,” said Pope Francis.

The Catholic Church’s World Day of the Sick was established by St John Paul II, and is held each year on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.

It is an opportunity to devote special attention to the sick and to those who provide them with assistance and care both in health care institutions and within families and communities.

Bishop Karol Kulczycki SDS, the Bishop Delegate for Health for the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said its health care services are a source of “great pride for the Church”.

Information provided by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Health Australia.