LAKE CHARLES — The Most Reverend Glen John Provost, Bishop of Lake Charles, will celebrate the second annual “White Mass and Blessing for Medical Professionals” at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 24, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 935 Bilbo Street. All doctors and health care professionals attending are invited to wear their white coats.
“COVID-19 and natural disasters have taken a toll on many, especially health care personnel,” said Sister Mary Benedicta Maier, R.S.M., co-director of the Offices of Marriage, Family Life, and Pro-Life for the Diocese of Lake Charles. “It is especially important that we ask the Lord to intercede for them, as well as their patients and families.”
Following the Mass will be a brunch and talk for medical professionals and their families in the Ave Maria Hall. Dr. David P. Darbonne, a local obstetrician-gynecologist, will speak on “The Joys and Struggles of a Catholic Physician.”
Sister Mary Benedicta said that Dr. Darbonne will reflect on the many choices he has made along his medical training and practice as a physician who desires to be informed by his faith.
“His experiences are, yes, personal, though universal to those who serve in the health care profession,” she said. “Dr. Darbonne considers himself to be a very ordinary person in an extraordinary profession of medicine. He sees himself as no different than his patients and colleagues with the joys and struggles of family life and career.”
Sister Mary Benedicta noted that those who know Dr. Darbonne might say that the mentality of faithfulness to his values has propelled him to care for so many women, children, and their families in his OBGYN practice in the greater Lake Charles area.
The White Mass receives its names from the white coats worn by physicians and the color that was associated with nurses. The Mass finds its origins in the Catholic Medical Association, which was founded in the 1930s. Each year, the White Mass is celebrated in many dioceses to invoke God’s blessing on health care professionals.
All those who serve in the ministry of the medical profession, including physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, nurses, technicians, administrators, health care personnel, ministers of consolation, compassionate care ministers, chaplains, and mental health workers, are invited, along with their families. All faiths are welcome to come to pray and receive a blessing.