His Holiness Pope Francis has announced a year dedicated to Mercy beginning on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception December 8th 2015 and closing on the Solemnity of Christ the King 2016. When we hear the word "mercy" are immediate thought is the forgiveness of sins. However, mercy can be expressed not only only in the forgiveness of sins but also in kind treatment of others in difficult situations,
Here at Saint Patrick Church we are blessed with numerous opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation...a sacrament in which I have a firm belief should not be limited to one scheduled day a week. Also as a parish we are generous supporters of the Catholic Harvest Food Pantry, Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, and the Pregnancy and Family Resource Center. Starting this past September 2015 on the Third Saturday of the Month we have a monthly Mass at 9 AM for the intention of the Respect of All Human Life. So in many ways we are already expressing the Lord's compassionate mercy to those in need, but that doesn't mean there is room for improvement.
On December 8th we will formally begin the "Year of Mercy" at the 7 PM Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Following the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass we will have adoration, with confessions available from approximately 8 PM - 9 PM. At 9:15 PM we will have the public recitation of night prayer with benediction. I strongly encourage and welcome you to participate in the opening of the "Year of Mercy."
In addition to the opening there will be a few schedule additions moving forward in which it is my hope that will continue long after this special year. Starting in February (since January 1 is New Years Day) we will have First Friday Devotions from 7 PM - 9 PM in which the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed on the altar for adoration.From 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available. Then at approximately 8:45 PM we will have the public recitation of night prayer with benediction.
On the Second Wednesday of every month starting in January we will have prayers for the blessing of the sick and prayers of the faithful. Illness does not just reference physical health. It can take many forms including emotional, physical, and spiritual. I would invite anyone who is struggling with any of these issues or know anyone who is to consider joining us for these monthly spiritual gatherings in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ to pray for the Lord's healing and peace.
These are just two ways in which we as a parish family will mark the beginning of the "Year of Mercy" and beyond. May we use this gift our Holy Father has given us to reflect on the great gift of the Lord's mercy and to pray for the grace to express it ourselves to those we meet.
Sincerely in Christ,
YEAR OF MERCY OPENS TUESDAY DECEMBER 8TH AT THE 7 PM MASS FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
ADORATION FROM AFTER MASS - THE CONCLUSION OF NIGHT PRAYER
CONFESSIONS AVAILABLE FROM APPROXIMATELY 8 PM - 9PM
NIGHT PRAYER WILL BE PRAYED AT 9:15 PM