All healthcare workers invited to the White Mass

All who work in health care and their families — Catholic and non-Catholic alike — are invited to attend the annual White Mass on Oct. 16 at the Cathedral of the Assumption, 433 S. Fifth St. The liturgy will be celebrated by Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre at 5:30 p.m.

Archbishop Fabre said the liturgy “calls down God’s blessing upon those in the medical field, that they know the nearness of Christ, the divine physician, as they deal with people who come to them for healing and hope.”

He noted that people who serve in the medical field “deal with people at very vulnerable times in their lives” and  “they are companions for people when they need assistance.”

“The Mass asks God to bestow on doctors and nurses all of the insight that they need into a patient’s condition and to walk with that person seeking hope, wholeness and healing.”

Celebration of the White Mass in the United States dates to 1932 and derives its name from the white coats traditionally worn by physicians, said Dr. Paul Kelty, a member of the cathedral who is organizing the liturgy this year. The Mass traditionally is celebrated close to the Oct. 18 feast day of St. Luke.

“St. Luke was an apostle and physician,” said Dr. Kelty. “He was the first Christian physician on record and is the patron saint of physicians and surgeons.” 

He noted that “the recent pandemic has caused extreme stress on the entire healthcare community, so it is fitting that this liturgical celebration recognizes all heroes who work in health care.”

He also added thanks to the archbishop for supporting the event, now in its 10th year locally. 

Those who wear uniforms or white coats are encouraged to wear them.

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