Medical and compassionate care professionals from throughout the Diocese of Orlando joined Bishop John Noonan on Feb. 28 at St. James Cathedral for celebration of the diocese’s annual White Mass. The White Mass gathers those who protect life and care for the ill and dying, such as physicians, nurses, compassionate care ministers, ministers of consolation, chaplains, mental health workers and all in the medical profession.
Bishop Noonan thanked the men and women who serve the sick and poor, noting that they minister not only from a health perspective but also from a Catholic perspective.
“We need your care,” Bishop Noonan said. “There is nothing more powerful than the sense of peace you bring. It is important that we gather together to know the teachings of Church to not only enlighten you but also to empower you to bring forth blessing in the lives of the people you care for. We are ever so grateful for your work.”
Dr. Helen Kraus, president of the Orlando Guild of the Catholic Medical Association (pictured second from the right), said for many doctors, the celebration of Mass offers a means of receiving God’s grace. Having a Mass that the not only honors those in the medical field but also prays for them in their day-to-day activities of taking care of patients is very meaningful. Dr. Kraus is a plastic surgeon with a private practice in Kissimmee.
“As Christ said, when you visited and took care of the sick, you took care of me” she said. “From a Catholic perspective, and most Catholic doctors feel this, we really believe that. In helping the sick, we are helping a child of God.
“Healthcare isn’t just physical wellness, but also spiritual,” Dr. Kraus continued, “and I think the Catholic physician can bring that into their interaction with each patient.”