(SNR) - The newly minted Lincoln Guild of the Catholic Medical Association (CMA) is inviting all medical professionals in the area and their families to its first White Mass Saturday, Nov. 16.
Celebrated by Bishop James D. Conley, the Mass will begin at 8 a.m. in the chapel of the Blessed John XXIII Center, 3700 Sheridan Blvd., Lincoln. Afterward, a light breakfast will be served, along with a few short talks to inform guests about CMA, its goals and apostolates.
Dr. Jude Cook, secretary/treasurer of the Lincoln Guild, said this is the first White Mass the guild has sponsored since it was officially recognized by the CMA earlier this year.
The White Mass is a tradition that originated with the formation of the CMA in the U.S. in the early 1930s. Named for the color traditionally worn by those in various healing professions – including doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, therapists, and counselors – the White Mass gathers medical professionals together to ask for God’s blessing upon each of them, their work and their patients.
The White Mass in Lincoln was slated for Nov. 16 because it is the feast of the Lincoln Guild’s patron, Saint Joseph Moscati.
Saint Joseph Moscati was an Italian physician who was noted for his heroic acts of medical assistance. Despite his busy schedule, he made Christ a priority by attending Mass daily and incorporating faith and the sacraments in treatments. Not only was he an intelligent and effective physician, some say he was a miracle worker who provided impossible cures.
Like Saint Joseph Moscati, Dr. Cook said, the members of the Lincoln CMA guild "want to celebrate the gifts God has given us as physicians and medical professionals."
The Lincoln Guild of the CMA has a firm foundation in Father Christopher Kubat – who was a practicing physician before he went to the seminary – and the Holy Family Medical Group in Lincoln. Together, Father Kubat and these physicians have been promoting medical ethics and humble, compassionate care for those in need.
By affiliating with the CMA, their efforts can be strengthened by growing in members as well as avenues of outreach. Dr. Cook compared the guild’s goals to a three-legged stool.
"Our goal is to fill the needs of the Lincoln diocese and to support Catholic physicians and healthcare workers," he said.
To that end, the guild will provide opportunities for spiritual growth (such as the White Mass and an upcoming Advent retreat Saturday, Dec. 7), organized support for local and national mission work, and a voice in the public square that Catholic healthcare workers need.
For example, members of the guild could speak as experts about pro-life issues and the importance of enacting conscience clause protection for medical professionals who hold religious beliefs.
Dr. Cook said anyone who works in the healthcare industry is invited to the Mass and to the breakfast and talks afterward.
Father Matthew Gutowski of the Archdiocese of Omaha is national chaplain for the CMA. He will deliver one of the talks about the CMA and what it has to offer. Dr. David Hilger, regional director for the CMA, will also share information about various apostolates.
"It will be an opportunity to ask questions about how to get involved, locally and nationally," Dr. Cook said.
For more information about the Lincoln Guild of the CMA, the White Mass or the Dec. 7 Advent retreat, please consult the guild’s website at www.LincolnCMA.org.