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Health Care Professionals Recognized at Annual White Mass

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The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge celebrated the annual Diocesan White Mass on Thursday, October 18, 2012, at St. Peter Catholic Church in Greenville. Concelebrants were Msgr. David D. Brockman, Vicar General of the Diocese; Fr. Justin Kerber, CP, pastor of St. Peter Church; Fr. Edward Wolanski, CP, Parochial Vicar of St. Peter Church; Fr. Pius Wekesa, administrator of St. John the Baptist Church in Roanoke Rapids; Fr. Victor LaRoche, OP, Duke Hospital Chaplain; Fr. Gaston Baswekundola, CP, Vidant Hospital Chaplain, formerly Pitt County Memorial.

The White Mass is so named because of the white coat and uniforms traditionally worn by health-care workers, and because white is a symbol in the Church of hope and comfort to the ill. Among those in attendance were doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, hospice workers, medical students and volunteers working in the health-care field.

Noting that the Mass pays tribute to all who have dedicated their lives to the service of the sick and infirmed, Bishop Burbidge said, “You have been called to participate intimately in the healing ministry of Jesus, and your vocation is a precious gift to the Church, to this Diocese, to our community and to all those in need.”

The Bishop reflected on the miraculous cures performed by Jesus and how, when they were described by the evangelists, the faith of the recipient was highlighted, in Our Lord’s affirmation, “Your faith has saved you; your faith has restored you.”

Bishop Burbidge offered six questions for reflection founded on Jesus’ power to heal and save.

In closing, he encouraged the health-care workers to “hear anew God’s call in your life and to recognize your expertise and talents as gifts from God.”

Following the homily, Bishop Burbidge bestowed the Rite of Blessing of Health Care Workers.

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Read Bishop Burbidge’s homily

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Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge at celebration of White Mass held at St. Peter Catholic Church in Greenville. Concelebrating left to right: Fr. Pius Wekesa; Fr. Victor LaRoche, OP; Fr. Gaston Baswekundola, CP; Msgr. David D. Brockman; Fr. Justin Kerber, CP; Fr. Edward Wolanski, CP. Click photo to view larger.