What can we do to make this year special? We can start by extending mercy to ourselves, a sometimes difficult task. Perhaps we’ve been neglecting the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This is the perfect time to return. Maybe there is a family rift or torn relationship that needs healing. Pope Francis especially beckons us towards those who live on the margins of society: We must open our hearts “to those living on the outermost fringes of society, fringes modern society itself creates.” We must challenge ourselves to reach out beyond our comfort zone. The Pope challenges us. He proclaims that mercy is the central function of the Church and the key aspect of Jesus’ ministry and work.
International Catholic Stewardship Council, January 2016 e-Bulletin
An app for the Year of Mercy
Our Sunday Visitor’s 365 Days to Mercy app, free in the iTunes and Google Play app stores, is designed to accompany you on a spiritual journey during the Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis. The official Year of Mercy is December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016, but daily inspiration, stories, and news began appearing in the app on November 20, 2015, giving you a full 365 Days to Mercy.
Also, visit http://www.im.va/ for all things related to the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Every Thursday: 9:15 AM—Rosary
Every Saturday from 3:30-4:30 PM and the eves of First Fridays and Holydays from 4:45-5:10 PM: Sacrament of Reconciliation
First Friday Mass
Holy Cross School celebrates First Friday Mass each month at 9:00 AM with a special liturgy prepared by the students.
First Sundays of each Month: Chaplet of the Divine Mercy, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at 6:30 PM
First Thursdays of each Month: Rosary & Benediction at 7:00 PM
Late January, early February 2016: Evenings of reflection for the women of the parish and another for the men of the parish will be held.
Future events will be scheduled and announced in a timely manner.
Forgive those who have hurt you of have done you wrong. If possible, consider forgiving debts owed you and/or returning collateral.
Go to Confession regularly - monthly or even weekly.
Read and meditate on the Sacred Scriptures, especially the Gospel of Luke.
Perform one or more works of mercy every day.
Go on a pilgrimage.
Share the Good News of God's mercy through your words and good deeds.
Make the Stations of the Cross regularly, especially at 3:00 PM, the Hour of Great Mercy.
Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy daily, imploring mercy "on us, and on the whole world."
What is a Jubilee Year?
The Holy See says that, in the Roman Catholic tradition, a Holy Year or Jubilee is a great religious event, held roughly every 25 years, for the forgiveness of sins and the punishment due to sin.
A Jubilee is a year of reconciliation between adversaries, conversion, and a time to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Consequently, it is a time of solidarity, hope, justice, and commitment to serve God with joy in peace with our brothers and sisters. A Jubilee Year us, above all, the year of Christ, who brings life and grace to humanity.
Kairos It's the Holy Fathers's belief that the present age is a kairos or an opportune moment of mercy. This is also the teaching transmitted by St Faustina Kowalska in her diary:
[Jesus said,] "I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of [sinners]. But woe to them if they do not recognize this time of My visitation. Before the Day of Justice I am sending the Day of Mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice."
The Extraordinary Year of Mercy is to be the “living experience of the closeness of the Father, whose tenderness is almost tangible, so that the faith of every believer may be strengthened and thus testimony to it be ever more effective.” POPE FRANCIS
Periodically, Jubilee Years are called by the Sovereign Pontiffs to lead the faithful to a closer relationship with God and as a sign of unity and charity. The Extraordinary Year of Mercy, (12.8.15-11.20.16) is the first Holy Year (hence, extraordinary) which does not commemorate an anniversary of some kind, but focuses our attention on the attribute of God the Father which is exalted in both the Old and New Testaments, His Mercy. In announcing the Year of Mercy, our Holy Father wrote:
“The Church makes herself a servant of this love of Christ and mediates it to all people: a love that forgives and expresses itself in the gift of oneself. Consequently, wherever the Church is present, the mercy of the Father must be evident.”
Pope Francis asks that Catholics make pilgrimages
In each of the Jubilee years since the fifteenth century, a “Holy Door” has been used as a ritual expression of conversion. Pilgrims and penitents pass through it as a gesture of leaving the past behind and crossing the threshold from sin to grace, from slavery to freedom, travelling along the road, making his way to the desired destination.
“The practice of pilgrimage has a special place in the Holy Year, because it represents the journey each of us makes in this life. Similarly, to reach the Holy Door of Mercy in Rome or in any other place in the world, everyone, each according to his or her ability, will have to make a pilgrimage. This will be a sign that mercy is also a goal to reach and requires dedication and sacrifice…May pilgrimage be an impetus to conversion: by crossing the threshold of the Holy Door, we will find the strength to embrace God’s mercy and dedicate ourselves to being merciful with others as the Father has been with us.” POPE FRANCIS
Holy Door at Sacred Heart Cathedral
The Holy Door of Mercy, which Pope Francis asked to be designated at each Cathedral in all of the Dioceses throughout the world, will be the inside main center entrance of Sacred Heart Cathedral, 296 Flower City Park, Rochester. Through the course of the Year of Mercy, the Cathedral will be open for private, group and parish pilgrimages, specifically at Diocesan celebrations listed below. At these celebrations, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and Confession will be readily available to the faithful.
Obtaining a Plenary Indulgence
Pope Francis has declared that passing through the Holy Door of Mercy will offer the possibility of obtaining a
Plenary Indulgence, a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, through certain pious exercises, namely:
• Celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation;
• Celebrating the Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist;
• Praying for the Holy Father and the intentions he bears in his heart;
• and Praying the Profession of Faith (the Creed) which unites us to the universal Church.
These indulgences may be obtained for ourselves or for those who are deceased. When we have made this pilgrimage and committed ourselves to live by mercy, “the Jubilee Indulgence is thus full, the fruit of the very event which is to be celebrated and experienced with faith, hope and charity.” POPE FRANCIS
All are invited
Join Bishop Matano at Sacred Heart Cathedral for the solemn ceremony opening the Holy Door of Mercy on Sunday, December 13, 2015, at 2 PM, followed by Mass.
This year, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception marks the beginning of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy announced by Pope Francis in a papal bull. In each of the Jubilee years since the fifteenth century, a “Holy Door” has been used as a ritual expression of conversion.
Our Holy Door will be Opened Tuesday, December 8 prior to the 7:00 PM Mass.
Kairos It’s the Holy Father’s belief that the present age is a kairos or an opportune moment of mercy. “We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy,” explained the Pope. “Mercy: The word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us.
Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to a hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.” POPE FRANCIS