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Bishop Vincent Long says compassion is at the heart of the Church’s mission, as Australia prepares to mark World Day of the Sick. (Diocese of Parramatta)

World Day of the Sick this Sunday will pay tribute to the invaluable work that Catholic health institutions undertake not just in Australia but around the world. Source: ACBC and CHA.

In his message to mark the 32nd World Day of the Sick on February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, Pope Francis reflected on the way serious illness could cause vulnerability, uncertainty and insecurity.

“The first form of care needed in any illness is compassionate and loving closeness,” Pope Francis said in his statement.

“To care for the sick thus means above all to care for their relationships, all of them: with God, with others – family members, friends, healthcare workers – with creation and with themselves.

“Can this be done? Yes, it can be done and all of us are called to ensure that it happens. Let us look to the icon of the Good Samaritan, to his ability to slow down and draw near to another person, to the tender love with which he cares for the wounds of a suffering brother.”

World Day of the Sick is an opportunity to devote special attention to the sick and to those who provide them with assistance and care, both in health care institutions and within families and communities.

Bishop Vincent Long, the Bishop Delegate for Health for the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said compassion was at the heart of Catholic healthcare services.

“This is a day to honour those providing tenderness and compassion to people in their care, and pray for the sick, vulnerable and poor who are at the heart of the Church.”

Catholic Health Australia CEO Jason Kara said Pope Francis’ message urges the community to remember both the sick and the people who are caring for them. 

“World Day of the Sick is an opportunity for us to reflect on the needs of those who turn to Catholic health and aged care services for their care and compassion,” Mr Kara said. 

“Every day our staff and clinicians commit to our mission to help the poor, the sick and marginalised, building on the great legacy of the Sisters who were the first to care for the sick in our community.”

To invite others to also mark the day, Catholic Health Australia has distributed specially commissioned lapel ribbons to Catholic leaders, politicians and members to wear on the day.


 World Day of the Sick (ACBC and CHA)