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Mass for healing, strength and thanksgiving

Home and Parish Healthcare Services of the Camden Diocese sponsored their first Mass for the Sick on Oct. 13 at the Church of the Holy Family in Sewell. Bishop Dennis Sullivan was the main celebrant accompanied by Father Robert Hughes, Vicar General, and seven other priests from the diocese.

Bishop blessing at healing Mass Oct 2015

Bishop Dennis Sullivan administers the sacrament of the anointing of the sick during a Mass of healing and thanksgiving for cancer patients and survivors at Church of the Holy Family in Sewell on Oct. 13. (Photos by James A. McBride)

An open invitation was offered to any parishioners throughout the Camden Diocese who are suffering with cancer, along with their caregivers, and cancer survivors. Over 300 people attended the Mass and 122 persons with cancer received the anointing of the Sacrament of the sick during the beautiful Mass for healing, strength and thanksgiving.

In his homily, Bishop Sullivan comforted those seeking the grace and healing of the sacrament by reminding them that “Christ draws near to the one who is burdened with illness.” Bishop’s message of mercy and love reflected the mission of Christ and his church and provided reassurance that “the church accompanies you who are sick.”

The emotion-filled evening of prayer and sacrament concluded with a time of fellowship and sharing hosted by the Hospitality Ministry of Holy Family Parish. A special “Thank you” is in order to the Knights and Dames of Malta, who generously gave of their time to assist with the liturgy. Their charism of welcoming and support for the sick was evident throughout the evening.

Father Hughes blessing at Mass Oct 2015

Father Robert Hughes, Vicar General, administers the sacrament of the anointing of the sick at the Mass.

As the newly formed healthcare ministry of the diocese, Home and Parish Healthcare Services, to be known as VITALity Catholic Healthcare, will take up that challenge to accompany those who are sick, aging or “differently-abled” in any way. By sponsoring various Masses and liturgical celebrations throughout the year, for spiritual support and comfort, and by providing care and assistance to those in need of health supportive services, VITALity will bring new life to the people of South Jersey. For more information about these new, innovative community-based services, contact the Diocese of Camden, Office of Home and Parish Healthcare Services at 856-583-6123.

Written by Deacon Jerry Jablonowski, Director of VITALity Catholic Healthcare.

Read in Catholic Star Herald