World Day of the Sick is celebrated each year on February 11, the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes.
This year, for the 31st World Day of the Sick, the Holy Father’s message is entitled: “Take care of him” – Compassion as a synodal exercise of healing.
In light of the Church’s synodal journey, Pope Francis invites us “to reflect on the fact that it is precisely through the experience of fragility and illness that we can learn to walk together according to God’s style of closeness, compassion and tenderness.”
Pope Francis reminds us to “not be indifferent to suffering”. Faced with the uncertainty that marks the end of life, the sick rely on caring compassion and accompaniment from others. It not only ensures that the dying person receives support and respite, but also creates a time for sharing, listening, encouragement and comfort.
“Horizons of Hope:
A Toolkit for Catholic Parishes on Palliative Care”
This new resource seeks to:
- Empower and educate parishioners by addressing questions surrounding palliative care, dying, death, suffering, accompaniment, and bereavement in a holistic fashion.
- Present high-quality content that explores how palliative care is understood from a perspective of Catholic moral and pastoral theology, medical expertise and the Compassionate Community model.
- Facilitate meaningful conversations together so that our parishes and families become Compassionate Communities, grounded in the mercy and tenderness of the living Christ.
This resource was developed by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) Joint Ad hoc Committee on Palliative Care with a variety of partners and experts to address the increasing complexities regarding end-of-life issues in Canada. The Committee members included representatives from Pallium Canada, Dominican University College, Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute, Catholic Health Alliance of Canada, Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph in Canada.
The program is designed for:
- Those seeking to learn more about palliative care and Catholic Church teaching on end-of-life
- Persons who have recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness
- Family members who need resources and guidance as they journey with a loved one who is seriously or terminally ill
- Parishioners and pastoral care teams who want to form a Compassionate Community program