Jesus cared for the sick and suffering. He performed many healing miracles in his life, and he told his followers to go ‘Heal the sick, and say to them the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Catholic Social Teaching raises the care of the sick to require all of us to do what we can.
Throughout history this has been the role of the faithful, from earliest days of the apostles and followers of Jesus, the patron saint of Physicians, St. Luke, to monasteries in Europe and to hospitals and clinics built by Bishops and Religious orders around the world for over 1500 years!
The Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers states that the Catholic Church now manages 26 percent of health care facilities in the world: 117,000 health care facilities, including hospitals, clinics and orphanages as well as 18,000 pharmacies and 512 centers for the care of those with leprosy.
Supporting those who provide healthcare – the doctors, nurses, therapists, and those who administer the facilities – is important work. The tradition of a White Mass (named for the white coat worn by many in the profession) is an opportunity to celebrate and bless them in their work.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles celebrated this Mass, generally associated with the feast of St. Luke. Mission Doctors Association takes this opportunity to recognize a Catholic Doctor of the Year. This year’s honoree is Dr. Gary Pontrelli.