A prayer from behind the mask

On Feb 11th, 2021, Bishop Fintan Gavin celebrated Mass for World Day of the Sick at the Mercy University Hospital, Cork. It was live-streamed.

This reflection was written and read by Margaret McKiernan, Director of Nursing at the Hospital.

Nurse Michael Bradley sang at the Mass. He works in St Therese’s Oncology Ward.

This is the text of the Reflection:-

The only constant in the last year of healthcare has been the continuing demand to adapt and change as our experience of Covid19 has evolved.

Some days feel good and some days feel different to any before.

As those who provide care to the sick, we have learned to work differently and acquire new skills at a pace and in a way that we could never have imagined.

We know that every patient who is admitted here under our care is someone in need and fearful of what is ahead

We know that families may not be able to be with our patients in the way they were previously.

But remember, behind the mask of every staff member is someone special whose focus is caring for you as an individual

Behind the mask is someone to guide you through these uncharted waters and give you a plan and allay your fears

Behind the mask is someone leading the way, planning your care and supporting other staff

Behind the mask is the person who will sit at the bedside when your family cannot be there

Behind the mask is someone who silently prepares, someone who cleans your room, prepares your meals and makes sure your bed is freshly made

Behind the mask is someone who will assist you in all aspects of physical care

Behind the mask is a person who makes a connection with you as another person in those intimate moments of care.

Behind the mask there is one ministry for all, no role is too big or no request is too small.

Give us your Grace, O Lord, so that we may speak calmly, clearly and truthfully with each other.

Allow the sick in our hospital to feel your healing touch through the compassionate care of our nurses, doctors and support staff. Let us trust in you and know that this time of adversity will end. Amen

— Margaret McKiernan, Director of Nursing,
Mercy University Hospital, Cork