Serbian Orthodox Church
Healthcare Day at St. George
July 28/August 10, 2003.
by Fr. Rodney Torbic
Matthew 14:14 - And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude;
and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.
We gather each year at the time of the Feast of St. Panteleimon to give honor and pay
tribute to the professional men and women engaged in the important work of healthcare.
We gather to give thanks to them for their dedication, for their training, for their
commitment to improving lives. Our Lord Jesus Christ performed many miracles. Jesus Christ
restored individuals to wholeness, to health. He healed them of infirmities and diseases.
We remember those working on ambulances. Ambulance personnel serve the injured at accident
scenes. They serve those who are critically ill and are found at very diverse locations.
We remember the individuals in laboratories doing important research. We remember the
nurses and doctors in hospitals, large and small. We remember the specialists. The hospital
workers in big cities and in remote country villages. We remember the medics working hard on
the front lines in the military.
We think about the many professionals working in doctors offices and in rural clinics.
We think about those professionals who go to homes and into the streets to help the needy.
We think about the professional healthcare workers in prisons and psychiatric facilities.
As Orthodox Christians we think about the prayers that are helpful and provide support
in times of medical need. We think of the Canon for the Sick, the Prayer before an Operation,
the Akathist to St. Panteleimon, the Prayer of Thanksgiving for Recovery.
We at the St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania take time each
year to say thank you to the professional healthcare workers. We remember them in the spirit
of the work of St. Panteleimon. We pray for the sick and the suffering daily.
When a person or family member is in need of good medical care, it is comforting to be
treated by a well-trained and caring healthcare professional. The work of healthcare
professionals can be emotionally taxing. It can be quite demanding in volume. The stress
can be cumulative. Patients are not always cooperative. Frustrations can build. Problems
can seem immense.
In our parish, we have had individuals treated in many different healthcare facilities.
Our parishioners have had critical injuries caused by automobilies. We have had parishioners
injured in coal mining accidents. We have had parishioners with major heart surgery and with
the need for extensive care due to cancer and other illnesses. Some parishioners have required
mental healthcare. A number of parishioners have had surgery to improve bodily functioning and
have had to go to physical therapy. Parishioners with medical needs have also been cared for
at home and in personal care and in nursing homes.
This parish has established a Parish Nurse Program with the Archpastoral Blessings of His
Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN. The Parish Nurse Program reflects the commitment of the parish to
healthcare ministry throughout the year
We give thanks to God for the healthcare professionals and pray for them as we do each
time we visit parishioners in medical facilities. Through the prayers of St. Panteleimon,
may God help us and save us.
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