Called to be good Samaritans through Pastoral Care in Nursing Invitation of His Grace, Rt. Rev. Dr. Bernard Moras for all the CNGI Nurses

CNGI Ecclesiastical Advisor, Bangalore Archdiocese

The invitation ‘Called to be good Samaritans by rendering pastoral care to the sick and suffering’ through nursing profession is the central message of His Grace, Rt. Rev. Dr. Bernard Moras, the Archbishop of Bangalore during the official Inaugural Holy Eucharist celebrated by him on the occasion of 2nd Regional Conference of Catholic Nurses Guild of India, held at St. John’s Medical College of Nursing on 24th November 2017, with the theme ‘Pastoral Care in Nursing’.

It was indeed a wonderful and blessed morning on 24th November 2017 at 9 am for all the Catholic nurses who gathered together in front of the Auditorium of College of Nursing at St. John’s Medical College Hospital, Bangalore eagerly awaiting our Archbishop for the inaugural Eucharistic Celebration which would inaugurate officially the 2nd Regional Conference for Nurses from 23rd to 26th of November 2017. Our Archbishop arrived at the Auditorium sharp at 8.55 am for the concelebrated Eucharistic Celebration. The Holy Mass started at 9 am preceded by a welcome address given by Rev. Sr. Doris DW, the Vice President of CNGI, Bangalore Archdiocese, followed by the procession to the altar together with 10 concelebrants. Rev. Fr. Stephen Fernandes, CNGI National Ecclesiastical Advisor, Rev. Fr. Pradeep Kumar, Associate Director of SJMCH, Rev. Fr. Jesu Dass, the Finance Director of SJMCH, and other concelebrants were present during the Eucharistic Celebration. Rev. Fr. E. William led the choir of St. John’s College of Nursing for the Holy Mass. The Holy Mass had the special intention of praying for all the sick and suffering with its Gospel passage from Luke chapter 10 on the parable of the Good Samaritan.

After the gospel passage, His Grace gave an inspiring homily in which he brought about the Relevance of Pastoral Care in nursing through 3 important events he himself had had in his ministry experiences. He brought out both positive and less positive attitude of nurses in giving full care to the sick. One of the episodes he narrated was about how pastoral care was given by a stranger to his diocesan priest who met with an accident many years ago. A stranger came to the aid of this priest in his most difficult situation as concrete Good Samaritan by saving his life because he took care of him as per the parable of Good Samaritan. Bringing about concrete life examples of people becoming good Samaritans, His Grace spoke about the relevance of Pastoral Care in nursing calling them to be the same. He invited the nurses to make this care part and parcel of their nursing profession because it is the mission entrusted to each and every one of us by Jesus through the Church. In the homily, he referred to the teachings of St. John Paul II referring to the Encyclical Salvifici Doloris in which the Pope speaks that there is value in human suffering because of the redemptive participation of Jesus. Human suffering has meaning because of Jesus and simultaneously the suffering of our sick brothers and sisters has meaning because of our participation in it. He also brought about the message of Pope Francis regarding the human participation in our neighbours’ suffering as the Pope himself is a man of care and compassion to the poor and the marginalized, as he invited all of us to render this care through the inauguration of the World Day of the Poor. The homily of His Grace created a motivating impetus for all 300 nurses present for the conference. Indeed it was very well appreciated by all present.

After the Holy Eucharist, His Grace was felicitated by the entire conference participants as he is celebrating his golden jubilee of his priestly ordination on 6th December 2017. Rev. Fr. E. William MI, the Ecclesiastical Advisor of CNGI, Bangalore Archdiocese, felicitated His Grace. During the Felicitation, Fr. E. William brought about the importance of creation. He said in his felicitation that the creation of the universe as good, the creation of humanity as very good, the creation of priests and religious as very very good and the creation of His Grace as holy priest in the plan of God as very very very very good. It is because His Grace was created wonderfully by God Almighty and the 50 years of his priestly life proved that in the sight of God, His Grace is very very very very good. Fr. E. William stressed the point of many creative ministries initiated by His Grace in the Archdiocese of Bangalore through many commissions. Fr. E. William said that the ministry and the lifestyle of His Grace proves proved how much importance His Grace gives to the pastoral care and nobody should be left unattended from this care. The felicitation of Fr. E. William ended with singing a ‘congratulation song’ sung by the entire participants.

At the end of the felicitation, Our Archbishop was honoured by the CNGI members. Accordingly he was honoured with a Turban on his head, symbolizing his priestly ministry as a kingly ministry; with a shawl put around him, symbolizing the care he renders to all in the archdiocese; and with a garland symbolizing the reverence the faithful have towards him. After the felicitation, His Grace thanked all of us wishing a fruitful conference. With photo sessions with His Grace inside and outside auditorium, the official inauguration of the conference came to an end.

We, the CNGI members of Bangalore Archdiocese immensely thank His Grace, for all his prayerful support and concern towards us. A special word of gratitude to His Grace for having given us Rs 25,000 towards this conference. May God bless His Grace and the Archdiocese abundantly.