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White Mass celebrates 'special vocation' of physicians


Dr. James O'Connell, president of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless, addresses physicians and medical students at the dinner following the White Mass sponsored by the Guild of St. Luke, Oct. 15. Pilot photo/Mark Labbe

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BRIGHTON -- Physicians, dentists and medical students came together at St. John's Seminary in Brighton to attend this year's annual "White Mass" and to listen to a talk by president of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, Dr. James O'Connell, Oct. 15.

Sponsored by the Guild of St. Luke of the Archdiocese of Boston, an organization of Catholic physicians, the White Mass celebrates the work they do on a daily basis.

Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley celebrated the White Mass in the chapel of St. John's Seminary.

In his homily, the cardinal spoke to the physicians, saying that he would venture to guess that they are aware of how special the gift life is.

Yet, he said "we are only stewards of that gift."

"Our faith teaches us that it's only God who can create and sustain life, and one of the really important aspects of your vocations as health workers, as Catholic health workers, is to be witnesses to the Gospels of Life," the cardinal said.

He called the medical profession a "special vocation," and noted the importance of defending life, "particularly when it's most fragile and most in need."

"You have been called by Christ to serve your brothers and sisters, to redeem their suffering, to ease their pain, and to bring them back to full health," said Cardinal O'Malley.

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