PROVIDENCE — The Rhode Island Catholic Medical Society celebrated the Feast of St. Luke a bit early this year — meeting at St. Patrick Church, Providence, for Mass on Oct. 16 rather than Oct. 18.
“In terms of scheduling and social distancing, moving the date away from Sunday made the most sense for both us and the parish,” said Dr. Daniel Harrop, the president of the Society (which is the local branch of the national Catholic Medical Association).
Father Joseph Brice, the Assistant Pastor at St. Patrick’s, offered Mass for a congregation of about 20 people, praying in gratitude for the work which local medical professionals have performed during the pandemic, while also praying for the souls of all those we have lost to the virus.
“We were very happy that Father Brice celebrated the Mass with us,” Harrop said.
Deacon Dr. Timothy Flanigan, an infectious disease specialist and member of the Catholic Medical Society, assisted at the Mass.
As the patron saint of physicians, St. Luke’s feast day has traditionally been the occasion for the diocesan Mass to celebrate health care workers, though pandemic restrictions meant that plans for this year’s celebration had to be adapted.