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Annual White Mass to be Celebrated October 18

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The Annual White Mass honoring those who serve in the health-care profession will be celebrated on Monday, October 18, at 7:00 p.m. at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Chapel Hill. The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge will be Principal Celebrant and homilist. October 18 is the Feast of St. Luke the Physician.

The White Mass is so named because of the white clothing traditionally worn by health-care workers and because white is a symbol in the Church of hope and comfort to the ill. Among those invited to attend are doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, medical educators, medical students and volunteers working in the health-care field.

In his letter of invitation, Bishop Burbidge noted that, throughout His ministry, Jesus dedicated much of His time to “healing the sick and tending to the suffering.”  Noting how science provides assistance in understanding human health, Bishop Burbidge wrote, “Such study leads us to a deeper reverence and awe for God and His creation.”

Ms. Jennifer McKinney, a registered nurse and member of the planning committee, explains, “The celebration of the White Mass is a way for health-care professionals to come in communion and reflect on their service to those in need. The Mass gives us the opportunity to strengthen our commitment as Catholics and servants of Christ.” On a personal level, Ms. McKinney says, "The Mass is important to me because it reminds me of my duty as a Catholic to serve others with compassion and mercy. Celebrating in communion with my peers,” she added, “helps me find strength to continue to use my talents to serve the Lord. In St. Luke, I am reminded that with constant prayer, the gifts God has given me will be used for His glory.”