101.jpgSINGAPORE – The World Day of the Sick was instituted by Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1992 to draw attention to the mystery of human suffering and to recognize the important role of carers of the sick and elderly.

Through this celebration, the church expresses her gratitude for the dedicated services of the priests, religious, and laity engaged in health care, who selflessly minister to the sick, the suffering and the dying, drawing strength and inspiration from their faith in the Lord Jesus.

Above, Drs John and Priscilla Lee pose with Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan at the Congress in Seoul.

This annual event is celebrated on Feb 11 – the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, whose shrine has become a sanctuary of human suffering. This year the commemoration of the World Day of the Sick was held in Seoul. The theme was “The spiritual and pastoral care of patients with incurable illnesses”.

The Congress was presided over by Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, President of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Health Care and attracted some 200 foreign and 500 local delegates.

In recognition of the humanitarian efforts of the Catholic Medical Guild of Singapore (CMG), Dr John Lee was the only foreign speaker invited by the Korean organizers to address the Congress. Dr Lee who is also the Vice-president of FIAMC (World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations) delivered a talk entitled “Catholic physicians’ response to refugees and damaged people in Asia”.

Dr Lee and his wife, Dr Priscilla Lim, who have eight children between them also held an hour-long interview with the Pyeonghwa Broadcasting Corporation the Korean national Catholic news network, on the subject of family life, as the fertility rate of Korea is perilously low.

Dr Lee also co-chaired a session on pastoral care. The hospice movement in Singapore was lauded as being one of the  most advanced. Dr Lim also gave a short sharing on her experience in hospice work.