PROVIDENCE — At this time last year, at the heart of the COVID-19 outbreak, Father Albert Ranallo had already finished marshalling a group of priests to serve in the hospital ministry — with all of its uncertainties as the virus continued to spread — and was hard at work securing enough personal protective equipment to keep them safe.
Father Ranallo, coordinator for Pastoral Care for Health Facilities in the Diocese of Providence, also serves as the pastor of St. Ann’s Church in Providence.
It is at St. Ann’s Church, 280 Hawkins St., Providence, that the Diocese of Providence’s Office of Pastoral Care for Healthcare Facilities will honor the selfless service of all essential workers who have answered the call to duty.
Auxiliary Bishop Robert C. Evans will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving to God for essential workers on Sunday, June 13, at 10 a.m., with a gathering of clergy and workers scheduled for 9:30 a.m. at the rectory for a procession into the Mass.
At the end of the Mass Bishop Evans will impart a special blessing on all the essential workers gathered.
All are invited to attend the Mass, which will be followed by a coffee an’ downstairs in the church hall.
Father Ranallo said that the significant decrease in COVID cases in recent weeks makes this a good time to pause and reflect on the importance of essential workers in maintaining the critical services we all come to depend on, especially in a time of crisis.
“You feel more the after effects of it now than when you’re in it because you start to reflect on it, like what the nurses went through,” he said.
While ministering to the sick is beginning to get back to normal in the hospitals, Father Ranallo said, many other essential workers have faced their share of danger this past year and their efforts will also be celebrated during the Mass.
Postal workers, nurses and assistants, grocery workers and teachers are some of the essential workers who have already indicated they will be in attendance, according to Michele Perfetto, office manager of St. Ann’s Church.
“We’ve got a little bit of everybody covered,” said Perfetto.
“God bless them all because we wouldn’t be able to survive without them.”
Visit www.stannri.org for Mass information and livestream viewing if unable to attend.