World Day of the Sick
Feb. 11, 2023
Dear Members and Friends of NACN-Canada,
Pope Francis’ Message on the 31st World Day of the Sick reminds us that our human vulnerability in illness, weakness, isolation, and abandonment brings us to the centre of God’s attention.
The parable of the Good Samaritan is the theme of this year’s World Day of the Sick. The story of his closeness, compassion, and tenderness signifies God’s love and accompaniment for the man who was beaten, robbed, and abandoned at the side of the road. The parable moves from the face-to-face encounter with the abandoned man to describe how the Good Samaritan provides funds for the innkeeper to house and care for the wounded man. He also makes a commitment to “remain informed of the situation.” These aspects of the Good Samaritan’s story are reflected in Canada’s contemporary health care system, although there are significant gaps in health care services, housing, and social supports.
Health care professionals, families and our communities are called to express God’s love for the sick and vulnerable who are at the centre of God’s attention. In contrast with the Catholic commitment to respect the dignity of human life because we are made in the image of God, our throwaway culture in Canada invites those with disabilities and unwanted suffering to consider medically induced death. This causes a great deal of moral distress for Catholic health care professionals. Please contact us if you are in this situation or know someone who could benefit from the support of a Catholic colleague.
The National Association of Catholic Nurses-Canada encourages Catholic nurses and our friends to register for training through the Compassionate Community Care program, and we endorse the recommendations of the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops to watch and share the video “An experience of accompanying a loved one through palliative care,” visit a loved one who is shut-in, lonely, or sick, and learn about the Horizons of Hope program.
May God bless you, your patients, and your families,
Helen McGee, RN MN CPMHNC
President, National Association of Catholic Nurses-Canada