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February 23, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 4   •   Oakland, CA
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Top right, "You're not alone," Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, told the ill, their families and caregivers. Above, Rev. Paul Schmidt was one of the concelebrating priests. Left, The Order of Malta sponsors the Day of the Sick, and supports a free medical clinic in the Chancery offices at Harrison and 21st streets in Oakland.
ALL: RaÚl A. Ayrala/
Special to The Catholic Voice

Sacrifices of the sick not in vain, bishop says

About 650 people attended the sixth annual Day of the Sick on Feb. 7, dedicated to the ill, their families and friends and caregivers.

Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, said the Mass at the Cathedral of Christ the Light with priests of the diocese. The sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick was administered to those who requested it, and Bishop Barber blessed those who work as companions of patients and other health workers.

Above, Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, celebrated Mass, and blessed and anointed the sick at the sixth annual Day of the Sick on Feb. 7, dedicated to the ill, their families and friends and caregivers. Below, At the end of the Mass, the representatives of the Order of Malta distributed Holy Water from Lourdes, France.

"You're not alone," the bishop said, recalling the assassination attempt against St. John Paul II and the pope's words after he regained consciousness at the hospital. "I felt depressed," the pope said.

Bishop Barber assured the infirm that is fair to feel depressed sometimes, and that the sacrifices of the sick are not in vain. "When you get surgery, for example, your wound will work along with Jesus' five wounds for the salvation of the faithful."

"In the name of the Church, thanks for your sacrifice," he said.

The bishop and concelebrants, assisted by the representatives for the Order of Malta, anointed the sick. After Communion, the bishop asked caregivers and health care providers to stand up to be blessed.

Knights and Dames of the Order of Malta assisted the bishop and priests in administering the sacrament; and after Mass, their representatives gave out bottles of holy water from the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, rosaries and holy cards.

World Day of the Sick was initiated by Pope John Paul II in 1992 and is held annually worldwide on the date nearest the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes, Feb. 11. The event is a ministry of the Diocese of Oakland and is supported by the Order of Malta.

The Order of Malta serves the sick, and assists with many charities, including a medical clinic in the cathedral center.

After Mass, the bishop personally greeted and blessed all those who requested it.

He stayed in the Cathedral until all of the assistants left, blessing most of them personally, shaking hands and taking photos with people alongside the baptismal font.

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