Mass for Health Care Professionals set for Oct. 9

Categories: News Releases / Statements


Diocese of St. Cloud  


Joe Towalski
Director of Communications
(O) 320-258-7624

September 14, 2016


All health care professionals are invited to a Mass at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, celebrated by Bishop Donald Kettler at Sacred Heart Chapel of St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph.

Bishop Kettler will offer a special blessing during the Mass for the hands of health workers in recognition of the caring outreach practiced by those in medical professions. The music will be led by the St. Benedict’s Monastery Schola. A light reception in the Sacred Heart gathering space follows the Mass.

Health care workers from all faiths are welcome to attend as well as family, friends and spouses. “Health care is sacred work. It is soulful work,” said Bret Reuter, director of mission and spiritual care at St. Cloud Hospital. “We need grace — God’s grace — to be present to patients, families and our colleagues in a manner that, as our mission suggests, reflects the healing mission of Jesus.

“The Mass for health care professionals,” he said, “celebrates the sacred work of caring for the sick among us and calls upon God’s grace that we may be vessels of God’s loving, healing presence to all those we serve.”

“We have been called and shaped to minister in our health care career and God is waiting for us to respond, with mercy, to the needs of those we walk with,” said Annette Jesh, parish health ministries coordinator for St. Cloud Hospital. “This service gives us an opportunity to join with others in our health professions to be thankful for our gifts and to renew our commitment.”

Masses honoring health care professionals are sometimes called “white Masses,” taking their name from the white coat most commonly worn by those in the medical field. The tradition of the White Mass in the United States originated in the development of the national Catholic Medical Association in the early 1930s. Last year, the tradition was reintroduced in this diocese. The Mass takes place just before the feast of St. Luke (Oct. 18), the patron saint of physicians and surgeons.

The collection taken during Mass will benefit Project H.E.A.L. (Health, Education, Access, Link), an outreach program of CentraCare Family Health Center that offers free health screenings and basic care at various Central Minnesota locations for those who have little or no insurance.

The event is sponsored by the Diocese of St. Cloud, Sisters of St. Benedict, St. Cloud Hospital and St. Benedict Senior Community of CentraCare Health in partnership with the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University.