The Sacred Heart RC Church, Port of Spain offered a Mass for persons affected by cancer, namely Metastatic Breast Cancer, Thursday, October 13, a day nationally recognised in the US during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October 1–31).
The day was important for the Catholic Church as it marked the anniversary of the final public appearance of the Blessed Mother to the shepherd children, and the Miracle of the Sun, in Fatima, Portugal.
In his homily, celebrant Fr Madani Alphonse MSFS asserted he stands today as witness of Christ healing his sister, Fathima Rani from metastatic cancer. Fathima resides in Telangana State, India.
He shared when Fathima was diagnosed, she was psychologically “down”. Fr Alphonse took her to several doctors to ascertain the stage the cancer had spread.
One doctor said that Fathima would die in three years.
He recalled she was “rechecked” by another doctor who said ‘nothing to worry about, everything has a chance. A life to be cured… surely, she will survive.’
Fathima underwent chemotherapy, a mastectomy and radiotherapy.
When the cancer spread to the skeleton, Fr Alphonse went to the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and prayed for Fathima’s healing.
Subsequent medical reports, he said, showed “she was cleared of breast cancer,” to applauds from the congregation.
“…. Do not be afraid of anything in life. The sickness is being afraid…. Sickness can be healed by Jesus. Sickness is not the one that kills the person, but not having faith kills the person,” Fr Alphonse said.
He mentioned Fathima is now on hormonal therapy and is “now doing well for two years [free] of any breast cancer.”
Fr Alphonse then said a special prayer for persons suffering from breast cancer.
In keeping with the universal colour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, pink, blessed rosaries were distributed to all in attendance: men and women. The rosaries were blessed prior by Archbishop Jason Gordon.
Fr Alphonse urged recipients to put the rosaries to use and “pray faithfully.”
“Do not lose hope. Even if you do not have breast cancer, still, the rosary is with us…pray for those persons suffering from breast cancer….”
In giving brief remarks, Hermia Cuffie, wife of former government minister Maxie Cuffie, who was also in attendance, spoke of having the Mass as an annual event.
Personnel from the Cancer Society shared informative literature with the congregation at the end of Mass.
—By Kaelanne Jordan