This Tuesday, 11th February, we celebrate the Feast of our Lady of Lourdes which also marks World Day of Prayer for the Sick.  It is a reminder of the very special place that the sick had in the life of Jesus. No one who has ever read the gospels could ever question his love of, or his compassion for the sick.  His concern for those who were suffering in mind or body or spirit is imprinted on every page and in every encounter. As followers of Jesus we are called to follow his example of care and compassion for all those who suffer sickness and ill-health. Our care of the sick is one of the most powerful ways in which we can witness to Christian love and it must always be a corner-stone of our faith.   This weekend we extend our heart-felt prayers for all who are sick in our community and in your families.  We commit ourselves once more to caring for them and supporting them in their time of illness and we acknowledge the extraordinary service of so many people in our community who each day are living examples of loving care to the sick: families caring for loved ones at home; home-helps; doctors, nurses and carers in our hospitals, hospices and nursing homes; volunteers caring for neighbours and many other people within our community.  Your service enables and enriches the life of our community and we pray God’s blessing on you and all those for whom you care.

We also take this opportunity to once more say that if anyone is sick or unwell in our community and would like one of us to visit you then we would be delighted to do so, be that in your home, in hospital or in nursing care. If anyone is housebound or struggles with mobility and would like to be included in our First Friday Communion Calls then we would be only too happy to visit you and bring you Holy Communion each month.  Please don’t be shy about calling us.  There is nothing more important to us than caring for and supporting those in our community whose health is failing and it is always a great privilege to be able to visit with you, pray with you if you so wish and bring you Holy Communion.  Please call or have one of your family call whichever one of us you would like to visit you.  We look forward to seeing you.  Until then please be assured that you are always in the thoughts and prayers of our community.   Fr Con & Fr Seán