“Dear brothers and sisters, the Jubilee will be a ‘favorable time’ for the Church if we learn to choose ‘what God likes most’ without bowing to the temptation of thinking that there is something else that is more important”...Forgetfulness of God’s mercy blinds us even to seeing sin for what it is. That is why this Holy Year of Mercy is so important..."--Pope Francis, General Audience, December 9, 2015
1. We have had a catechesis with handouts for Indulgences as Pope Francis has emphasized these for the Holy Year.
2. We have began a Wednesday night series (2nd Wednesday with supper) for the year of mercy. It is preceded by Evening Prayer and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. These are the topics for the series:
September 9: Original Sin and the need for Mercy
October 7: Solemn Recitation of the Most Holy Rosary: Homily, Mary Mother of Mercy
November 11: Actual Sin and the Need for Mercy
January 13: The Sacrament of Mercy, Penance
February 9: Fat Tuesday and creating the need for mercy related to gluttony and licentiousness (just kidding, only a meal)
March 9: The Four Last Things, death, judgement, heaven and hell and how Mercy acts
April 13: Life in the Spirit of Mercy
3. We had a Sunday morning program in November called "Generations in Faith Together (GIFT) focusing on Mercy, the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy and Indulgences (within the context of brunch in our gym with well over 100 in attendance, parents, children, singles, elderly.
4. We have hung the Divine Mercy Image banner for the year in our Sacred Heart Chapel
5. We have designated the door to our Confessional as the "Holy Door of Mercy" and tied it into the indulgences for the faithful departed and individuals during the Holy Year.
6. My bulletin letter this past Sunday emphasized going to confession regularly, and performing the Corporal and Spiritual Works of mercy which I listed in my letter. These are also in our December newsletter that all parishioners just received with two articles on the Year of Mercy.
7. We have confessions Monday through Saturday at 7:30 AM, Saturday at 3:00 PM and the last two Sundays of Advent after all three Sunday Morning Masses. We will have Sunday morning Confessions each Sunday of Lent and prior to our nighttime Stations of the Cross as well as our normal Advent and Lenten Penance Services
8. We are asking all parishioners to be merciful to their parish in giving generously of their time, talent and treasure and to our Capital Campaign, Vision 2020: Continuing in Love!
9. Homilies during the year will focus on mercy
10. Our monthly Mass with the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick followed by our seniors' luncheon will have a mercy theme and this Mass which is the first Thursday of each month will be preceded by Confessions.