Bishop Marc Trudeau is no stranger to suffering. In 2008, he was diagnosed with Stage III, Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma. He complained of pain in his stomach to his doctor, and within a week, he had started chemotherapy. “I went through about six months of being really, really sick,” he said. “But my doctor was always optimistic, he always knew that we were going to beat it. So, you have to believe him, he knows what he’s talking about!”
The auxiliary bishop for the San Pedro region also knows well the power of prayer. “I always say that even with the best medical support and personnel and the right kind of drugs, every cure is a bit of a miracle. During my illness...the grace of God and the prayers of so many of my friends carried me through,” he said.
Now, as health care workers across the world fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, racing to treat those who are sick, and to find a vaccine for the rest of us, Bishop Trudeau is offering his own prayers, in the form of a special Scriptural Stations of the Cross for Health Care Workers and First Responders.
In his reflections, Bishop Trudeau focuses on the healing that Christ did — he gave sight to the blind, cleansed the lepers, and ultimately gave himself as “the healing balm for the salvation of the world.” He notes the trust that Christ had, and the lack of faith and fear that lead the Sanhedrin to crucify him. “The constant cry of the Gospel is, ‘Do not be afraid!’ ” Bishop Trudeau writes. “We live in fearsome times,” but we can look to Christ to carry us through this storm.
He goes on to ask Jesus for patience as this crisis drags on, and empathy, as everyone does their part to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and medical professionals continue to provide care, easing the pain and suffering of the sick. “In this crisis, we see that we are not alone.”
Hospitals and nursing homes can be “sites where light shines, life breaks though, and hope springs forth,” Bishop Trudeau reflects. “Even in a time of social distancing, we are a community, leading each other into the kingdom.” He urges devotion to Mary, asking for her protection and her intercession.
Ultimately, “we proclaim the empty tomb of Christ, who saves us from every disaster, crisis, plague, fear, and doubt. The victory has already been won,” Bishop Trudeau reminds Catholics. “We await its grace to flow over us.”