Originally Published on OMIWORLD.ORG
Fr. Mariusz KASPERSKI is parish priest and also chaplain to a hospital on Morondava. He writes of his ministry with the sick:
At the request of the bishop of the diocese, Bishop Marie Fabien Raharilamboniaina, I accepted this work. Until now, there was no priest responsible for visits to the hospital, so I accepted this request.
I am pastor of the new parish, Saint John Paul II. We began our ministry in this diocese on 25 November 2012. We have a lot of work in the parish. At the outset, over and above the usual pastoral work, we first built a chapel, so we could celebrate Mass, no longer under the stars. Now we are building a house for the priests and a parish office.
I visit all the sick in the hospital every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. At the end of my Thursday visitation, I usually celebrate Holy Mass in the refectory. I also visit the hospital if someone should call me.
There are two groups of Christians who visit the sick along with me. They are Christians of the Legion of Mary and charismatic groups from various city parishes. These groups are well experienced in this ministry.
The hospital has about 105 beds. In our visitation, we visit those in post-surgery wards, maternity, pediatric and tuberculosis wards.
I pray in every corner where patients may be found and who ask me for prayers for themselves. I administer the sacrament of the sick and distribute Holy Communion to those who ask for it. Occasionally, I administer Baptism to patients who are seriously sick.
The crisis within the country is seen also in the hospital. If you are sick, at the moment it is not easy to be healed. If someone wants to have a place in the hospital, he himself must pay for all the medicine, but the family must his food and nourishment.
We are often asked for help for the sick. Most often these are bush people. If someone is sick with tuberculosis, he must remain in hospital for a long time. These people most often ask us for food. Others seek help to buy medicines which are very expensive in Madagascar.
By our prayers, we support those being helped in the hospital. We support them also with our material help. Jesus, our Lord, our Good Samaritan, encourages and helps us in this ministry. (www.oblatsmalagasy.org)