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Letter | World Day of the Sick

Bishop Bonar Crosier - Top

Note: This letter is published in both English and Spanish.


Dear Clergy, Religious, Seminarians and Faithful of the Diocese of Youngstown,

On Friday, February 11, 2022, we as a Church will celebrate World Day of the Sick.  Thirty years ago, Pope John Paul II instituted this annual event as “a special time of prayers and sharing, of offering one’s suffering for the good of the Church and of reminding us to see in our sick brothers and sisters the face of Christ who, by suffering, dying, and rising achieved the salvation of humankind.” (Letter Instituting the World Day of the Sick, May 13, 1992, 3)

The ongoing pandemic that has affected so many makes us more aware of the sick among us, and appreciative of the health care professionals and family members who care for them.  I think we all know so well the sufferings of those who are sick as well as the risks those in health care make every day to be of service to them.

In his Message for the Thirtieth World Day of the Sick, Pope Francis announced the theme as “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36) His prayer is that this observance will “help us grow in closeness and service to the sick and to their families.”  This closeness is not always able to be one of proximity, but we can always be close in our prayers and thoughts for them.  This observance provides an opportunity to come together to pray for the sick, and reminds us that healing and hope are possible when we place our trust in Jesus, the divine physician

It is also important that in our petitions for the sick we also include those who care for them with “the strength of a father and the tenderness of a mother.”

In his Letter commemorating this observance, the Holy Father beholds the witness of all health care professionals.  He writes, “Dear healthcare workers, your service alongside the sick, carried out with love and competence, transcends the bounds of your profession and becomes a mission.  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.”

I look forward to praying with health care professionals at the Annual Diocesan White Mass that will take place on Sunday, February 20, 2022, at 10:30 am in Saint Columba Cathedral in Youngstown.  This is an opportunity for us to pray together for healing, strength, and hope with Jesus, the divine physician.

Let us go forth to be merciful as the Father is merciful in our thoughts, words, and deeds, especially with regard to our sick brothers and sisters and their caregivers.  May God grant us the grace to serve one another and unite us in spirit praying together, “That All May Be One.”


Sincerely in Christ,


Most Reverend David J. Bonnar
Bishop of Youngstown


25 de enero, 2022                 


Estimado clero, religiosos, seminaristas y fieles de la Diócesis de Youngstown,

El viernes 11 de febrero, 2022, nosotros como Iglesia, celebraremos el Día Mundial del Enfermo.  Hace treinta años el Papa Juan Pablo II instituyó este evento anual como “un momento especial para orar y compartir, para ofrecer el propio sufrimiento por el bien de la Iglesia y para recordarnos el ver en nuestros hermanos y hermanas enfermos el rostro de Cristo, quien, al sufrir, morir, y resucitar, alcanzó la salvación de la humanidad.” (Carta que instituyó el Día Mundial del Enfermo, el 13 de mayo, 1992,3)

La pandemia en curso que ha afectado a muchos, nos hace más concientes de los enfermos entre nosotros, y apreciar a los profesionales de la salud y los miembros de sus familias que se preocupan por ellos.  Pienso que todos conocemos muy bien, tanto el sufrimiento de aquellos que están enfermos, como los riesgos que quienes están al cuidado de la salud corren cada día al estar a su servicio.

En su Mensaje por el Treinta Día Mundial del Enfermo, el Papa Francisco anunció el tema como “Sean misericordiosos así como su Padre es misericordioso.” (Lucas 6:36)  Su oración es porque esta observancia “nos ayude a crecer en la cercanía y servicio a los enfermos y sus familias.”  Esta cercanía no siempre puede ser de proximidad, pero siempre podemos estar cerca en nuestras oraciones y pensamientos por ellos.  Esta observancia da la oportunidad de unirnos en oración por los enfermos, y nos recuerda que la sanación y la esperanza son posibles cuando ponemos nuestra confianza en Jesús, el médico divino.

También es importante que en nuestras peticiones por los enfermos incluyamos a aquellos que se ocupan de ellos con “la fuerza de un padre y la ternura de una madre.”

En su Carta conmemorativa de esta observancia, el Santo Padre contempla el testimonio de todos los profesionales de la salud.  Él escribe, “Estimados profesionales de la salud, su servicio junto a los enfermos, llevado a cabo con amor y competencia, trasciende los límites de su profesión y se convierte en una misión.  Sus manos, las cuales tocan la carne sufriente de Cristo, puede ser una señal de las manos misericordiosas del Padre.  Tengan en cuenta la gran dignidad de su profesión, tanto como la responsabilidad que esta conlleva.”

Espero orar con los profesionales de la salud en la Misa Blanca Anual de la Diócesis que se llevará a cabo el domingo 20 de febrero, 2022, a las 10:30 de la mañana en la Catedral de Santa Columba en Youngstown.  Esta es una oportunidad para nosotros para orar juntos por la sanación, la fuerza, y la esperanza con Jesús, el médico divino.

Avancemos para ser misericordiosos como el Padre es misericordioso en nuestros pensamientos, palabras y obras, especialmente con respect a nuestros hermanos y hermanas enfermos y sus cuidadores.  Que Dios nos conceda la paz para servir los unos a los otros y nos una en espíritu orando juntos, “Que Todos Sean Uno.”


Sinceramente en Cristo,

Reverendísimo David J. Bonnar
Obispo de Youngstown


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