GARDEN GROVE — A World Day of the Sick healing Mass, in the tradition of annual pilgrimages to Lourdes, will be celebrated by Bishop Kevin Vann at St. Columban Church on Feb. 7 at 10 a.m. Abbot Eugene Hayes, O.Praem., of St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado, will concelebrate, along with 24 priests and deacons from throughout the Diocese of Orange.
The Mass is a local celebration modeled on a yearly pilgrimage to the Marian grotto at Lourdes, France, sponsored by members of the Order of Malta. During the pilgrimage, which fulfills the order’s mission of service to the sick and the poor, members of the Order of Malta accompany seriously ill people and their caregivers to the site of an apparition of the Blessed Virgin. Because it is not possible for many ill people and order members to travel to France each year, the World Day of the Sick program, which brings the “Lourdes experience” to local dioceses, was established by the Order of Malta.
Water from Lourdes is used to bless the congregation during the Mass, and the sick are anointed and their caregivers blessed with holy oil in the same way they would be at Lourdes. All will be given a bottle of water from Lourdes by the Knights and Dames of the Order of Malta.