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placeholder Largest crowd ever of caregivers, ill join for World Day of the Sick

Program teaches leadership to Catholic school pupils

Oakland Bishop leads fight to save marriage

Marriage prep classes
help keep bond alive

Resources for engaged, married couples

Bishops’ launch efforts to reinforce church teaching on marriage

Dioceses stress importance of marriage in modern world

Young artists, musicians to gather for festival

Pauline sisters move bookstore around a corner

Lay ministers counseled on balance, rest

placeholder February 21, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 4   •   Oakland, CA

Order of Malta knights and dames, from left, Tom Greerty, Catherine Kim, John Christian, Betty Ann Lambert, Kit Greerty, Mary McInerney and Katherine Glaessner file into the Cathedral of Christ the Light.
José Luis Aguirre photo
Largest crowd ever of caregivers,
ill join for World Day of the Sick

About 600 people, caregivers, the sick, families and friends, joined for Mass and the Sacrament of the Sick on World Day of the Sick Feb. 5 at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.

Cathedral Rector Father Ray Sacca met with attendees.
José Luis Aguirre photo

It was probably the largest turnout in the three years of the ceremony, said Peter D. Bewley, one of the knights of Malta, which with the Oakland Diocese hosts the event. The World Day of the Sick was instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1992 and is celebrated annually on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. It affirms the Church’s duty to remember and serve the sick and the suffering.

During the Mass, the Sacrament of the Sick was administered. Those suffering from a serious acute or chronic illness, and their caregivers, were invited. Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone was the principal celebrant.

The Order of Malta — officially the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta — was founded in 1048 to serve the sick in hospitals in Jerusalem and along the routes followed by pilgrims to and from the Holy Land. The knights became a military force, but as that need diminished, the order’s full attention turned to the service of the sick and the poor of the world.

The Order of Malta provides medical, social care and humanitarian aid in more than 110 countries.

There are about 800 members in the 11 western states, and 57 knights, dames and provisional members in the Oakland Diocese, Bewley said. There are additional auxiliary volunteer members.

The Order of Malta Oakland Free Clinic for the uninsured, located in the Cathedral of Christ the Light center in Oakland is the “signature charity” of the local order, Bewley said.

Other charities served in the diocese include Mercy Retirement and Care Center, Saint Mary’s Center, San Damiano Retreat Center and St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County. The knights and dames are also active in Growing the Faith programs in many parochial schools located throughout the diocese. For more information, visit www.orderofmaltausawestern.org.

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