WATERVILLE---In observance of the World Day of the Sick (February 11), Bishop Robert P. Deeley will celebrate a Mass of the Anointing of the Sick on Wednesday, February 12, at 9:30 a.m. at Mount Saint Joseph Residence & Rehabilitation, located on 7 Highwood Street in Waterville.
The anointing of the sick is administered to individuals suffering from deteriorating physical, emotional, or mental illness. It is also administered to those experiencing a sudden medical crisis or scheduled for surgery, even routine procedures. In addition, the sacrament is appropriate for elderly weakened by advanced age or suffering from chronic or long-term illnesses. Anyone struggling or recovering from alcoholism or other addictions can also be anointed, as can individuals being treated with chemotherapy, radiation, or physical therapies.
“Christ is always present whenever we gather in his name. In the sacrament of the anointing of the sick, we welcome him especially as physician and healer, as comforter and consoler,” said Bishop Deeley. “The healing on February 12 is not necessarily a healing of illnesses that beset us, but a healing of our hearts and a reminder that, in our difficulties, God is with us. Jesus walks with us. We see that in the people who care for us, in the people who extend themselves to make it possible for us to be comfortable, to be cared for, to be fed and clothed. And in all of that, God’s love is manifested and shown forth.”
During the Mass, Bishop Deeley will walk among the sick and elderly present, laying hands on them and anointing their foreheads and hands, praying: “Through this holy anointing, may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit.” Prayers will also be offered to all who are aged, ailing, or alone, and all whose vocation is to care for the sick.
The World Day of the Sick was introduced by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1992, who called upon the faithful to pray and reflect on those who are sick and struggling. The day coincides with Catholic Church’s celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. On February 11, 1858, the Blessed Mother first appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes, France, which has now become a place of pilgrimage and healing. The day also recognizes and honors all who serve as caregivers.
Mount Saint Joseph Residence & Rehabilitation has been caring for the people of Waterville and surrounding areas since 1966. Sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Lyons, the facility takes pride in providing quality care that emphasizes quality of life in a faith-filled, compassionate community. Services offered include pastoral care, rehabilitation, long-term care, skilled nursing, dementia and Alzheimer’s care, hospice care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.
To learn more about the World Day of the Sick, including other commemorations scheduled around Maine, visit the special section on the diocesan website.