YOUNGSTOWN — The previous yr has been a problem for many individuals due to the coronavirus pandemic, however these within the well being care area particularly have confronted difficulties on the entrance line and have been acknowledged for what they do on the twenty fifth annual White Mass hosted by the Diocese of Youngstown.
Led by Bishop David Bonnar on Sunday at St. Columba Cathedral, the particular Mass praised the work of medical doctors, nurses, aides, help employees and different well being care and psychological well being professionals.
The facility was out for many of the Mass after a automotive hit a close-by phone pole, however Bonnar mentioned the lit candles within the sanctuary and the daylight streaming by the stained-glass home windows “supplied a way of peace.”
“How darkish it has been for a lot of this previous yr through the pandemic, however we’ve reached for the sunshine to information us,” Bonnar mentioned.
The theme of his homily was “don’t despair,” which he mentioned is a lack of hope. He began his homily with a joke a few nun giving a homeless man exterior the convent a $100 invoice with a be aware wrapped round it that mentioned “don’t despair.” The person returned a number of days later with stacks of $100 payments that he received after betting on a horse named “Don’t Despair” on the racetrack. The congregation, which included about 50 well being care professionals, chuckled on the punchline.
Bonnar, nevertheless, rapidly turned critical, drawing parallels between the COVID-19 pandemic and two of the readings at Mass that have been about individuals with leprosy, who needed to isolate themselves as a result of they have been “unclean.”
“In the course of the pandemic, it has been very tempting to despair. We pray fervently for all our sick brothers and sisters and likewise for the medical doctors, nurses and different well being care employees who look after the sick. Well being care employees take many dangers to assist the sick and struggling. This yr stands out as a major one which has stretched past perception each well being care employee who has been on the entrance strains. They do that as a result of they care,” Bonnar mentioned.
Bonnar mentioned Jesus doesn’t need anybody to despair or to be in isolation regardless of their standing.
“Jesus desires us to the touch the untouchable, love the unloveable and forgive the unforgiveable,” he mentioned.
These within the well being care career have been requested to face of their pews for applause and recognition.
Deanna Ford of Poland, director of missions for Mercy Well being, mentioned, “I work for Mercy Well being so that is extraordinarily appreciated. We discuss hope on a regular basis. We thank the Diocese for the popularity, particularly for this previous yr.”
“All of us wanted this blessing he gave us for what we’ve confronted. It was good with all of the candles being lit even when the ability went out. What would we do if we didn’t have medical doctors and nurses?” Maureen Fogarty of Youngstown, a speech pathologist, mentioned.
Dr. John Popovec and Alberta Popovec of Boardman mentioned it has been a difficult yr.
John mentioned in his 41 years in medication, he has by no means seen a yr like this.
“Coming collectively and realizing how exhausting everybody has labored and made sacrifices is essential. Folks have put in a lot time and vitality through the pandemic,” Alberta mentioned.
Dr. James Kravec, chief medical officer for Mercy Well being of Youngstown, mentioned the very fact the Diocese continues to have this Mass annually exhibits how a lot it cares for the various well being care employees in the neighborhood.
“This yr is much more essential than ever given the very fact well being care employees are working more durable and caring for increasingly sufferers. It has been a difficult yr, and these many heroes are on the market doing great work for the sufferers and caring for these of their communities. It’s great the Diocese is celebrating them at this particular Mass,” Kravec mentioned.
Kravec mentioned he has attended the White Mass for a few years, together with whereas he was in medical faculty.
He mentioned it’s encouraging so many individuals are getting vaccines in addition to persevering with to social distance and put on masks.
“I’m hopeful we will get again to some type of normalcy this yr,” Kravec mentioned.
He’s a member of St. Christine Parish in Youngstown and was there together with his spouse, Dr. Cynthia Kravec, who did the readings, and their 4 kids.
David Schmidt, director of the Diocesan Workplace of Professional-Life, Marriage and Household Life, mentioned usually, a reception takes place within the parish corridor after the Mass, but it surely was canceled due to the pandemic.
“That is the Diocese’s method of honoring well being care professionals and celebrating the work that they do. Anybody within the well being care professions wants an additional blessing for the work they’ve carried out and challenges thay confronted this previous yr,” Schmidt mentioned.
He mentioned normally, many retired well being care professionals come to the Mass, however they have been unable to take action due to the pandemic. They’d have watched a livestream of the service, however the energy outage simply earlier than Mass modified that.
Metro editor Marly Reichert contributed to this report.
Right this moment’s breaking information and extra in your inbox