Catholic nurse: A privilege to be God's instrument in caring for the sick
by Nirmala Carvalho

Clare D’Mello is a member of the Catholic Nurses Guild. Her "weapons" are her smile, prayer and blessed hands. The nurse starts her shift every day with a prayer for the sick, even non-Christians: "It is not to convert, but to heal".


Mumbai (AsiaNews) - For 30 years she has had the "privilege of reassuring the sick and helping terminal patients to accept the inevitable and prepare for the end" of life. It is the story of Clare D’Mello, an Indian Catholic nurse. Her method, she tells AsiaNews, is: "A smile on my face, a prayer on my lips and blessed hands. I am truly honored to be His [God's] instrument of healing and relief ".

Graduated in 1984, Clare is in charge of the service to the sick and is a member of the Catholic Nurses Guild (Cng, a union of Catholic nurses). The woman states: "Given the human fragility towards the disease and the need to ask doctors for help, man has always found reassurance in blessed hands that with professionalism and ability create a relationship that comforts and gives security".

The need to tell families that a patient is dying, says the nurse, "is a harrowing experience, because they find it hard to accept the plans God has for their loved ones". The Catholic claims that medical assistance has made enormous strides over the years: it has gone from nurses with a bonnet and white dress to "trendier uniforms"; the treatment barriers break continuously; the younger generations have a deeper knowledge of the diseases, even if they often rely on what they read on the "Dr. Google".

Her experience is that of a "nurse guided by the spirit of my Lord Jesus Christ through a beloved and blessed career". After years of medical training, "imbued with my parents' faith teachings", she started working. Every day, she says, she begins her shift "with a prayer about each patient, regardless of religion, because my truest conviction is that Our Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest healer. I witnessed countless healings when medical treatment also seemed to have lost hope. I know that in my little act of prayer I not only bring hope and comfort to the sick, but also peace and a sweet acceptance of the power of God ".

Clare says she has succeeded "in conveying this sense of healing also to colleagues, in particular young Christian nurses: they can use the power of faith to bring people closer to God". The nurse admits that sometimes discussions arise with patients of other faiths, "but after a simple dialogue explaining that it is not a conversion but a healing prayer, [they] react with genuine happiness and gratitude".

Her daily "treasures" are the Bible and the Rosary: ​​"The Bible is a rich treasure of comfort and strength. Fed by the word of God, so I am helped to support and help families understand the reason for the disease and why all this happens to their loved ones ”. The Rosary, he adds, "is my greatest armor of hope and the profound trust in Mary through which everything is possible. I wear it with pride, not to declare my faith but my complete trust in the power of prayer through its grains, and so I will be eternal witness of its miraculous ways".

In a cosmopolitan world, emphasizes the nurse, "in which religion is sidelined, there is a burning need for faith not because it is used as a remedy for crises, but as a beacon that radiates beams of love, hope and faith" .