Catholics from Saint Rita’s Church in northern Bangladesh observed “World Sick Day” at Mothurapur in the diocese of Rajshahi on March 28.
More than 60 people from all over the villages under the parish attended the event. This was the special spiritual preparation to celebrate Easter Sunday joyfully, said Father Shishir Gregory, the parish priest.
The program started with a short prayer with Bible reading. After the reading, the parish priest delivered his talk for the day-long program.
Thanking all, he said, “We are all sick in one way or another, but there are still many more sick people than we are, but by the grace of God we are well.”
Father Gregory encouraged the sick so that they could move forward with their suffering patiently and with hope.
“Jesus walked with pain but never complained or said, ‘I cannot go to Mount Calvary with such a heavy cross.’ So Jesus taught us how to deal with adversity and sickness,” he said.
Referring to Pope Francis's words, the priest said, “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (Lk 6:36); standing beside those who suffer on a path of charity the message of the pope for the XXX World Day of the Sick (which falls on 11 February).”
"Especially in spiritual assistance to the sick, and the commitment that each of us should have in making ourselves close to those who suffer. Because "the ministry of consolation is a task for every baptized person, mindful of the word of Jesus: ‘I was sick and you visited me’ (Mt 25:36)," Quoting Pope’s words, Father Gregory said.
Video clips on patients’ suffering and healthcare were shown to participants. Its purpose was to inspire them and help them accept life conditions with faith and hope, explained Father Sawpan Purification, an assistant parish priest.
During this occasion, some sick people expressed and shared their feelings.
One of the participants Elizabeth Palma said, “I pray to God regularly for my sickness so that I can be cured and I always share my suffering with Jesus."
Another participant Alfred Gomes said, “No matter how much I suffer, I do not feel hurt when I see the pain of others and I feel healthy. Besides, I got a lot of inspiration in today's program thank you for arranging this program.”
In 1992, Pope John Paul II established “World Sick Day” to urge people to pray for individuals, who are ill and their caretakers.
The pope showed signs of Parkinson's disease in 1991, but it was not verified until 2001, therefore, it is notable that he opted to establish the World Day of the Sick barely a year after his diagnosis.
Sister Mary Archana, a member of Associates of Mary Queen of the Apostles and Regent Michael Hembrom, among others, helped organised the program.
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