White Mass on Feb. 10 to honor health care workers

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LEWISTON — The annual White Mass for health care professionals and caregivers will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, at the Basilica of SS. Peter & Paul, 27 Bartlett St.

The White Mass celebrates health care professionals, including doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, lab technicians, therapists and others from all religious denominations, by offering a blessing for their contributions to the healing mission of Jesus and to ask God’s blessing upon their work.

“Those of us who entered into the medical profession do so because we desire to heal,” said Dr. Michael Czerkes, an OB/GYN and naprotechnology specialist at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. “We want to help those around us and we do that through medicine. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta rightly pointed out that we can only cure physical disease and ailments through medicine. Spiritual ailments, like despair or hopelessness, can only be cured with love.”

The White Mass is scheduled to coincide with the World Day of Prayer for the Sick on Feb. 11. Since 1992, the Catholic Church has celebrated World Day of Prayer for the Sick to remind the faithful to pray intensely for the sick, reflect on and respond to human suffering and to recognize and honor all people who work in health care and serve as caregivers.

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“They are co-workers with God for the sake of life and instruments of His compassion,” said Bishop Malone. “Their faith and religious commitments, integrated with all of their specialized knowledge and professional skills, add vision, depth and meaning to all that they do.”

The White Mass is named for the color of the vestments worn on the day. White is associated with the medical profession.

All health care professionals and media members are invited to attend the White Mass. For further information, contact Dave Guthro, communications director at the Diocese of Portland, at (207) 321-7810.

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