During the recession at the New York Archdiocese’s annual White Mass, dedicated to healthcare workers, Cardinal Timothy Dolan paused several times to greet the faithful.
Walking down the aisle at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, he halted at one point and approached Dr. James Schiller, Executive Director at St. Christopher’s Inn.
“The Cardinal stopped midway down the aisle and asked, ‘How is one of my favorite places, Matt Talbot Hall?’ Then he shared how much he loves Matt Talbot and the mission here at Graymoor,” Dr. Schiller explained. “It was a special moment.”
Indeed, a special moment for St. Christopher’s Inn on Thursday, June 2. The White Mass was well-attended by people from every discipline of the healthcare community, regardless of their beliefs. It is called the White Mass because of the traditional white garb healthcare workers wear while treating patients.
Dr. Schiller also told the Cardinal about the Matt Talbot statuette Father Dennis Polanco, SA, received. He also thanked the Cardinal on behalf of Father Dennis, St. Christopher’s Inn President and Spiritual Director, as well as Father Brian Terry, SA, Minister General of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement.
Making the Mass even more special was the theme of the Gospel.
The Gospel reading came from John 17: 20-26, where Jesus prayed “that all may be one” during the Last Supper. Servant of God Father Paul Wattson, SA, founder of the Society of the Atonement, dedicated his life to Christian unity and realizing the Lord’s prayer that all may be one.
Cardinal Dolan lauded the work of healthcare professionals during his homily, highlighting their tireless work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Confessing our faith, whatever religion we are indeed, that we have a Lord of health, not sickness. A God of life, not death,” Cardinal Dolan said. “A God who brings healing and consolation. How? Through the skilled hands of physicians and nurses and first responders; volunteers, healthcare staffs, public servants … who all brought care and comfort to hundreds of thousands of afflicted sick. You all worked very hard. We praise God for His healing power, and I thank all of you.”
The White Mass also featured a colorful procession with umbrellas, in a tribute to Our Lady of Good Health.