Please join us for 17th Annual Medicine, Bioethics, and Spirituality Conference!

Framed photo of Blessed Hanna Chrzanowska, RN, nursing professor and first lay registered nurse to be beatified.

Watch "Living God's Mercy" on Lourdes and God's Healing Power,
 Marie Romagnano: click here.

For more information on the virtual 17th Annual Medicine, Bioethics, and Spirituality Conference,
running Feb. 11-13, to download a flyer, and to register, click here.

“Be merciful,” Pope Francis urges on 30th World Day of the Sick, Feb. 11

Observance coincides with the opening of the virtual 17th annual Divine Mercy Medicine, Bioethics, and Spirituality Conference, Feb. 11-13

“Be merciful, as your Father is merciful” (Lk 6:36) is the theme of Pope Francis’ message for the 30th World Day of the Sick, observed on Feb. 11, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. 

Service to the sick and suffering “must be understood as a constant and choral action of the whole Church, a healing community, which stands beside those who suffer on a path of charity,” the Holy Father writes. 

17th annual conference
The observance of the World Day of the Sick coincides with the start of the 17th annual Divine Mercy Medicine, Bioethics , and Spirituality Conference. The three-day virtual event, Feb. 11-13, features a wide array of speakers from the worlds of healthcare, medicine, academia, and the Church. 

Registration is open now to healthcare professionals (offering academic credit) and anyone who would like to know more about the spiritual care of the patient and the bioethical issues confronting so many families and individuals today.

“I believe it’s critically important to stay spiritually in touch with ourselves and support other healthcare professionals during this unprecedented time of pandemic,” says Marie Romagnano, MSN, RN, CCM, founder of the Marian Fathers’ apostolate Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy, and organizer of the conference. “We can get through these dark and difficult days with hope and prayer, realizing that the Divine Mercy message and devotion was specifically for us and that we can help so many that we are caring for during this crisis.”

‘Rich in mercy’
“Thirty years ago, St. John Paul II instituted the World Day of the Sick to encourage the people of God, Catholic health institutions and civil society to be increasingly attentive to the sick and to those who care for them,” Pope Francis writes. “Many advances have been made, yet there is still a long way to go in ensuring that all the sick, also those living in places and situations of great poverty and marginalization, receive the health care they need, as well as the pastoral care that can help them experience their sickness in union with the crucified and risen Christ.”

In his message, the Holy Father urges us to turn our gaze first towards God, who is “rich in mercy” (Eph 2:4). “He always watches over his children with a father’s love, even when they turn away from him,” he notes. “Mercy is God’s name par excellence; mercy, understood not as an occasional sentimental feeling but as an ever-present and active force, expresses God’s very nature. It combines strength and tenderness.”

Mission and service
The pandemic has reminded the world in a profound way of the heroic service of healthcare workers on the front line, Pope Francis continues.

“Dear healthcare workers, your service alongside the sick, carried out with love and competence, transcends the bounds of your profession and becomes a mission,” he writes. “Your hands, which touch the suffering flesh of Christ, can be a sign of the merciful hands of the Father. Be mindful of the great dignity of your profession, as well as the responsibility that it entails.”

Expressing gratitude for advances in medical science, the Holy Father notes that pastoral care remains paramount, with attention paid to the uniqueness of each patient and their needs. 

“Patients are always more important than their diseases, and for this reason, no therapeutic approach can prescind from listening to the patient, his or her history, anxieties and fears,” Pope Francis says. “Even when healing is not possible, care can always be given. It is always possible to console, it is always possible to make people sense a closeness that is more interested in the person than in his or her pathology. For this reason, I would hope that the training provided to health workers might enable them to develop a capacity for listening and relating to others.”

“Dear brothers and sisters, to the intercession of Mary, Health of the Infirm, I entrust all the sick and their families,” Pope Francis concludes. “United with Christ, who bears the pain of the world, may they find meaning, consolation and trust. I pray for healthcare workers everywhere, that, rich in mercy, they may offer patients, together with suitable care, their fraternal closeness.”

A lifesaver
“The Holy Father’s beautiful words will resonate in anyone working in healthcare today,” Marie Romagnano notes. “As we are entering our third year of the pandemic, healthcare professionals are feeling the strain and experiencing moral distress at so many individuals not only becoming critically ill, but dying. I recently was speaking to another healthcare professional who said that our conference in 2020 was a lifesaver. It provided hope and spiritual nourishment.

“All of us Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy are on the frontlines of this crisis physically or spiritually,” she concludes. “Please join us on Feb. 11-13 for an uplifting and solid spiritual experience.”

To read Pope Francis’ message for the 30th World Day of the Sick, click here.

Please register online to participate in this virtual conference, running Feb. 11-13. To learn more about Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy, visit our homepage and explore the many rich resources available.



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