Holy Healing Stem Cells – February 11, 2017 – K-6 & the Domestic Church

Pope Saint John Paul II started the World Day of the Sick in 1993. It happens every year on February 11th, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Mary appeared to St. Bernadette in Lourdes France in 1858 and since then, the place where Mary appeared, has been a pilgrimage sight where many miraculous healings have happened.

Opening Prayer

God of love,

ever caring,

ever strong,

stand by us in our time of need.

Watch over your children who are sick, look after them in every danger,

and grant them your healing and peace.

We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord.


Additional Resources for Session Leader:
Catechism 2270-2275; 2292-2296 ; 2373-2379;

Compendium 465-460472-480

John Paul II Medical Research Institute

(From the English translation of the Pastoral Care for the Sick, 1983)


Scripture Reading

John 9: 1-11 (Gospel story of healing) or Mark 8:1-10 (Gospel reading for the Day)

Catechesis Video

The Catholic Church teaches the message of Jesus Christ that we are all called to take care of one another. Our world is filled with suffering sickness. God gave us the gift of smart people who are scientists to help us ease people’s pain and suffering. The Catholic Church supports these scientists and wants us to understand how science can help us heal people. One way of healing is using something called “stem cells”.

So what are stem cells and how can they help us?

The video of the stem cell explains where stem cells come from. It mentions a “blastocyte” that will become and embryo as it develops. Those are words you may not know. They are words we use to explain how old a person is, just like we call people who are just born “babies”, people when they are two years old and just beginning to walk “toddlers”, and then “teenagers”, “adults”, and “elderly”. So a blastocyte is a very tiny and very young person. So is an embryo. Watch the following video to see how a blastocyte, as it gets older, changes; it might not look like a baby when it is really, really young, but it is.


Catechesis Video Questions

k-6 grade

  1. Do you know someone who needs healing? What can you do or say to help them feel well? How do you feel when you are sick?
  2. Does someone you know suffer with pain that doctors cannot fix? How can we help these people? Visiting them? Praying their family? Praying for their doctors?
  3. How can Catholics use science to help people who are sick while being faithful to the Church teachings?

Domestic Church – the family

  1. Some people argue that embryonic stem cell research holds promises of ending a great deal of human suffering, and others condemn this research as involving the abortion of a human life. Does your family know someone who suffers from incurable disease?
  2. There are over 80 current treatments using adult stem cells and no practical or safe treatments yet in use to utilize embryonic stem cells because of the embryonic stem cells risk of causing tumors or being rejected by the patient. How does this affect your views of stem cell research?
  3. How might your family pray for scientists, that they make moral decisions based on the dignity of the human person?

Witness Video

Witness Video Questions

k-6 grade

  1. Chloe was born with a disease called cerebral palsy. Her parents wanted to help her overcome her disease. How did they do this?
  2. Have you ever considered becoming a doctor or scientist? How can doctors and scientists live like Jesus in their work?

Domestic Church – the family

  1. How does the success story of Chloe and her family using adult stem cells change or reinforce your understanding of adult vs. embryonic stem cells?
  2. Do you know a doctor or scientist that is Catholic? Do you think they know about success stories like Chloe? How can you help to share the news about adult stem cell successes as a family?

Action Steps

k-6 grade

  1. Collect funds to go to the John Paul II Medical Research Institute to go towards supporting adult stem cell research that respects the dignity of all human life.
  2. Learn more about adult stem cells and research that is happening at the John Paul II Medical REsearch Institute and put on a Science Fair at your school!

Domestic Church – the family

  1. Set aside $1.00 a week to go towards funding research for adult stem cells like the research done at the John Paul II Medical Research Institute right here in Iowa.
  2. Visit a sick member of your parish as a family.

Closing Prayer

“May the Blessed Virgin, “Health of the Sick” and “Mother of the Living”, be our support and our hope and, through the celebration of the Day of the Sick, increase our sensitivity and dedication to those being tested, along with the trusting expectation of the luminous day of our salvation, when every tear will be dried forever (cf. Is 25:8). May it be granted to us to enjoy the first fruits of that day from now on in the superabundant joy — though in the midst of all tribulations (cf. 2 Cor 7:4) — promised by Christ which no one can take from us (Jn 16:22). Amen.”

Pope St. John Paul II, prayer at the end of his message for the First World Day of Prayer for the Sick, From the Vatican, 21 October 1992

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