Pope Francis has expressed that the Year of Mercy has an evangelising intention. His desire is that the year ‘will be steeped in mercy, so that we can go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God! May the balm of mercy reach everyone, both believers and those far away, as a sign that the Kingdom of God is already present in our midst!’ (Bull of Indiction 5)
Every parish, Catholic family and individual is invited to consider how they might participate in this task of sharing the ‘balm of mercy’.
One way we can reach out to others is through inviting them to attend a local Year of Mercy event with us and / or to go through a Holy Door. You may find the invitation card provided below by our Home Mission Desk useful.
We are also providing a Visitor’s Guide that can be printed out and made available in churches where holy doors are located. The Guide is written very simply to cater for very occasional church visitors. The resource is called: ‘Visitors Guide to a Year of Mercy Holy Door‘. Please feel free to photocopy it.
During the Year of Mercy, some additional questions for reflection, in service of local evangelisation, are:
In what ways can you offer new opportunities for people in your local area to encounter God’s mercy?
Are there people in your life, parish or school community, that have become distant in some way, that you could reach out to during the Jubilee Year?
Who might you personally invite to pass through a Holy Door with you? A non-churchgoing Catholic or someone of no faith?
For Cathedrals and designated shrines: What might you gift to those passing through a Holy Door?
The Gospel of Luke, a prayer card, rosary, holy picture?
When might you go on pilgrimage during the Jubilee Year and who might you invite – who has never been on a pilgrimage before – to join you?
When might you receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Is there someone you might also invite to accompany you?
How might your parish, deanery or school offer ‘24 Hours for the Lord’ on 4 – 5 March 2016?
In which ways might you, your family, school or parish give expression to the corporal and spiritual works of Mercy during the Jubilee Year?
How might you celebrate the Jubilee Year as a family in your home?
What might a mission of mercy look like in your area?
How might you use the Proclaim ’15 materials to proclaim God’s Mercy?
When and how might you pray for your local priests in support of their ministry?
How might you enter into dialogue with other Christians, those who are members of other religions and non-believers, about the practice of mercy?
“During this Jubilee, the Church will be called even more to heal these wounds, to assuage them with the oil of consolation, to bind them with mercy and cure them with solidarity and vigilant care… May we reach out to them and support them so they can feel the warmth of our presence, our friendship, and our fraternity! May their cry become our own, and together may we break down the barriers of indifference that too often reign supreme and mask our hypocrisy and egoism!”
Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus, Bull of Indiction 15