Medical community gathers for Mass

RALEIGH - Despite a rainy, dark day, good things were happening inside and outside Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral.

Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama celebrated Mass Oct. 25 with special intentions for those who work in the medical field. And, in the parking lot, a drive-thru and walk-up COVID-19 testing site was operating the same day.

“With our ample space and parking, we were happy to enter a partnership with health officials from Wake County to accommodate a testing location,” said Monsignor David Brockman, rector of cathedral.

Several parishes in the diocese have hosted testing to provide support to the public, local county health departments and the medical community.

Celebrated annually, the White Mass is offered for healthcare professionals, and others involved in the medical field, as an opportunity to reflect on the role of Catholics in healthcare. 

Inside the cathedral, members of the Triangle Guild, a chartered guild of the Catholic Medical Association (CMA), were in attendance and offered information before and after Mass. The organization inspires members to uphold the principals of the Catholic faith in the science and practice of medicine.

Lori Schweickert has been a member of the local guild since 2013 and its president since 2014.

“The guild offers me and other members a chance to learn about and discuss matters of faith and work in a supportive environment … I have undoubtedly become a better physician from our conversations and spiritually-grounded approach to medicine,” she said.

Schweickert, who said she was thankful for the opportunity to celebrate the White Mass at cathedral, added that the CMA is a special place for the Catholic community because “people need to know that there are people practicing medicine in their community who share their deeply held faith and values.”

In his homily, Bishop Luis said COVID-19 and illnesses don’t care who we are, and we are all exposed, much like sin.

“Spiritually, we are always in need to be better, to be healed from the wounds of sin,” said Bishop Luis. “When we come to celebrate the Eucharist and are open to be loved by Jesus, we come as sinners with hope to be healed and to be free.”

He continued, “Love is to be open to be healed, to be free to love another one. It’s the medicine we need to have, to make a difference and become true examples and disciples of Jesus to move others to conversion. Be an example of living what we believe, to live in the fullness of the love of Jesus and be instruments to share freely and with joy what we receive in our relationship with him.”

At the end of Mass, Monsignor Brockman thanked the medical community for their courageous service during the pandemic.