Lisa Kochanowski
Freelance Writer
October 4, 2018 // Diocese

White Mass celebrated on feast of Sts. Cosmas and Damian

Lisa Kochanowski
Freelance Writer

More than 50 members of the medical community gathered Sept. 26 at St. Pius X Church, Granger, to celebrate a White Mass, which honors those who work in the health care field.

“The Book of Wisdom was written about 200 years before the birth of Christ, and it seems that the wisdom God gave us is that life is eternal, and life goes beyond the grave,” said Msgr. William Schooler, who preached the homily. This becomes fully known in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, he added.

Msgr. William Schooler preaches during a White Mass offered Sept. 26 at St. Pius X Parish in Granger for health care professionals — people who are agents of God’s healing power, he said. — Derby Photography

Msgr. Schooler noted that the day’s reading from Wisdom is a popular one when family members choose the readings for the Mass of a deceased loved one. He feels that people sense the beauty of the words, he said, which talk about images that are like sparks darting through the sky. “They’re glorious, and every single one of us is made in the image of God, a spark.”

“We who are made in the image of God, one day, through purification, will shine with all the heavenly angels and all the heavenly saints,” said Msgr. Schooler. “That’s why, when you look at images of the saints on our walls, you notice the saints all have halos. That’s because they have been completely purified. That’s because God, who is fire, who is light, shines through them because they are so transparent, and because we trust they are all made in the image of God. Because we trust that we are sparks.”

Dr. John Rice speaks during a reception following the Sept. 26 Mass as Dr. David Parker looks on. — Derby Photography

“Your profession is so incredibly important, and that is why you are literally ordinary ministers of God’s healing power,” he continued. “Because when you recognize God’s image in all your patients especially in the difficult ones who are giving you a really hard time. When you have the faith to do that, you are helping them through a very difficult purification process. We believe, of course, that the purification process continues after death,” said Msgr. Schooler. “People who need medical care are also being purified in a real way from the way that you treat them, the way that you respect them, it helps them through the purification process.”

Continuing, he recalled Sts. Cosmas and Damian: twin brothers, both physicians about whose lives little is known. The brothers were filled with the spirit of charity, though, he said, and they never took money for their services.

“On this day, on the feast of Sts. Cosmas and Damian, physicians ask for their intercession as you continue your health care work, and as you continue to recognize the spark from God’s image in every one of your patients,” said Msgr. Schooler.

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