Friday, 11th February, was the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, and Pope John Paul proclaimed it World Day of Prayer for the Sick. Ministry with the sick is a vital part of Christianity, parishes, and priests. I say "with" the sick, because almost always I end up receiving more than I give. From little ten year old Christopher whom I met on the HCPT pilgrimage in 1979, through hundreds and hundreds of people I have visited at home, to the Holm Tower cancer hospice in Penarth, to the extraordinary sensation I experienced last year during a Mass with the sick here at St Brigid's when I was aware that it was not only me that was anointing them, I know that in the sick we are very, very close to Jesus.
Over the last couple of years I have heard from time to time about Philip Johnson, a remarkable young man from North Carolina who is studying for the priesthood while suffering from an inoperable brain tumour. Today I came across a video of him recently giving a talk to high school students. If you have a spare half an hour, and want to be challenged and inspired by a young man's story, then listen to Stephen. It almost sounds redundant to say, Fr M approves.