February 11, 2022 will mark the 30th edition of the World Day of the Sick, instituted by Saint John Paul II. Several activities are organized to make February 2022 “the month of the sick person”. The current context lends itself more to this awareness of people affected by the disease, often alone and isolated by the pandemic.
In his letter, Pope Francis insists this time on mercy to speak of the service of the sick. “This helps us to see how important is the presence at our side of witnesses to God’s charity, who, following the example of Jesus, the very mercy of the Father, pour the balm of consolation and the wine of hope on the wounds of the sick.” (extrait du texte original)
While highlighting the strides made by local churches in health over the past three decades, he acknowledges that there is still “a long way to go” in terms of pastoral care and addressing the poverty of the sick and isolated.
In several dioceses, there are pastoral care services. In Montreal, the Service d’accompagnement spirituel des personnes malades ou âgées à domicile (SASMAD) is of particular note. This organization offers individual home visits by a volunteer. For more information, visit their website.