Upcoming World Day of the Sick to be marked in Kolkata under the sign of Mother Teresa

The Pope appointed the Archbishop of Dhaka, Card D'Rozario, as his envoy. Card Turkson, Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for integral development will be present. The three-day event includes studies, as well as visits to patients in health facilities. A solemn Mass will be celebrated at the tomb of Mother Teresa.


Kolkata (AsiaNews) – World Day of the Sick will be marked this year in the City of Joy, Kolkata (Calcutta), from 9 to 11 February. The announcement was made this afternoon at a press conference held in the main hall of the Archbishop House Annex in Kolkata, with Fr Dominic Gomes, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese, as moderator.

Mother Prema, who succeeded Mother Teresa at the helm of the Missionaries of Charity, was present at the meeting. Stressing the importance of the dedicated day, she said that “Mother Teresa is the shining symbol of the care to the afflicted in the City of Joy, in the nation and the world at Large".

In his Message for the occasion, Pope Francis highlighted the example and testimony of the Mother of Kolkata. This year’s theme is taken from the Gospel of Matthew: "Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give."

The Holy Father also appointed Card Patrick D'Rozario, archbishop of Dhaka, as his representative. Card Peter A. Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development will also be present.

The Day, which marks the memory of Our Lady of Lourdes on 11 February, is at its 27th edition. But in Kolkata the event will take place over three days.

The first day, 9 February, includes a conference on the theological foundations of health pastoral care, the new charter of health workers and the new frontiers of service to the marginalised poor.

A Mass will be held in the evening at the tomb of Mother Teresa, at the Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity, led by the Archbishop of Kolkata, Mgr Thomas D'Souza.

The second day involves a visit to three local Church health facilities – Shanti Dam, Prem Dam and St Joseph's Home – which are run by the Missionaries of Charity and the Little Sisters of the Poor. The latter provide health care to the poor and the abandoned, especially women suffering from mental disorders.

In the afternoon, Card Turkson will officiate a Mass with the anointment of the sick at Kolkata’s St Xavier's College.

On 11 February, solemn celebrations will be held at the Basilica of the Holy Rosary in Bandel to mark the 27th World Day of the Sick, which is also celebrated in all the dioceses of the world. Card D'Rozario will lead the Holy Mass, which will be followed by the anointment of the sick.

(Nirmala Carvalho contributed to this article)

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