World Day of the Sick to Be Observed in Washington in February

3 Day Gathering Planned for Pastoral Agents

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 8, 2003 ( The World Day of the Sick will be observed in Washington, D.C., from Feb. 9-11. On this occasion, the theme is «The Path of Solidarity: The Vocation of Catholic Health Care in America.»

The closing ceremony will be held in the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

In 1992, John Paul II instituted a World Day for the Sick, which is celebrated every Feb. 11, feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, to give thanks to those in health care ministry, to put a focus on the Church’s teaching of health care, and to pray for the sick.

The Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers organizes the day, as does the host diocese, in this case the Archdiocese of Washington. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is being assisted in the organization by Father Michael Place, president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States.

Health agents and bishops from the Americas will attend the meeting. The U.S. bishops have established a special fund to cover the costs of participants who are unable to pay their expenses.

Sunday, Feb. 9, the first day of the meeting, will be dedicated to in-depth study of health care ministry. The next day will be dedicated to the theological study of issues in health pastoral care. On the third day a papal message written for the occasion will be read.


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