BANGOR — St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Bangor will host a special World Day of the Sick Mass on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m. The Mass at St. John Church on 217 York Street will be offered in-person and via livestream. The Mass is first come, first served, with attendance limited to 50 people in the church and an additional 50 people in the church hall (viewed on screen with Holy Communion brought to hall). The Mass will also be presented via livestream at www.stpaulbangor.me and www.facebook.com/StPaulBangor. In addition, a special blessing will be imparted to all healthcare professionals.

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, and to recognize and honor all persons who work in healthcare and serve as caregivers. In his message for the 29th World Day of the Sick this year, Pope Francis urged a path of healing grounded in a trusting and interpersonal relationship between the sick and those who care for them.

“A society is all the more human to the degree that it cares effectively for its most frail and suffering members, in a spirit of fraternal love. Jesus asks us to stop and listen, to establish a direct and personal relationship with others, to feel empathy and compassion, and to let their suffering become our own as we seek to serve them.” 

The day coincides with the Catholic Church’s celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. On Feb. 11, 1858, the Blessed Mother first appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes, France, which has now become a place of pilgrimage and healing.

“It was instituted to remind us all that those who are sick and suffering are in need of our care and our prayer,” said Bishop Robert Deeley. “In the celebration of the World Day of the Sick, we also remind ourselves that the sick are part of the Church. Visiting the sick, comforting the dying and the sorrowing, caring for the poor and those in need of shelter. This is mercy, and mercy, after all, is the form that love takes when it encounters misery and suffering, and seeks, with compassion, to heal that misery.”