Year of Mercy: 2015 - 2016

A Snapshot: Year Of Mercy[1]
  • The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy officially begins on 8th December (feast of the Immaculate Conception) and concludes on 13th November, 2016. The opening date also commemorates the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council, which called the Church to proclaim the Gospel to the world in new ways, bringing God’s mercy to everyone
  • A jubilee year is a special year called by the church to receive blessing and pardon from God and remission of sins. The tradition started about 700 years ago and 26 jubilees have been celebrated since. Of those, only three have been “extraordinary” (including this Year of Mercy).
  • The official proclamation of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy is called a “bull of indiction,” entitled Misericordiae Vultus (“The Face of Mercy”) and explains how in Jesus Christ, in his words and actions, the mercy of God has been revealed.
  • At the start of the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis will open a special holy door at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. It will become “a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instils hope.” A local door of mercy will also be opened at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne.
  • The theme for the year is: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
Links Welcoming the Year of Mercy[2]

To welcome the Jubilee, Pope Francis will open the holy door of St Peter’s, with holy doors of the other papal basilicas to follow. As a sign of communion of the whole Church, the pope has requested that every diocese in the world open a similar “door of mercy” for the local celebrations of the Jubilee.

To mark the opening of the Jubilee here in Melbourne, a special holy door of mercy will be opened by Archbishop Denis Hart at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Sunday 13th December at 2.30pm. Entitled Walking Into Mercy, individuals and groups from around the archdiocese are invited to make a special pilgrimage to the Cathedral, as an outward sign of solidarity with those most in need of God’s endless mercy and compassion. Just like Pope Francis challenged his parishioners to ‘house the stranger’ in the wake of Syrian refugee crisis in Europe, so too are we being challenged to live and share God’s mercy more effectively in our own lives and communities.

Church Entrance, Door of Mercy Responding to the call of Jesus[3]
“The words and actions of Jesus demand a response. We do not open our hearts and our home to vulnerable people simply because they are ‘deserving’ of charity or compassion. We take them in, provide shelter and bandage their wounds because they are equal to us in dignity. (Lev. 19:33).” —from the 2015-2016 Social Justice Statement by the bishops of Australia entitled, For Those Who’ve Come Across the Seas: Justice for refugees and asylum seekers. Read the full statement online at www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au.

Church Without Frontiers, Mother To All[4]

www.acmro.catholic.org.au | Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO)
What might we do differently—better—to help our own neighbours in this Year of Mercy? Migrants in our communities often go through challenges that are unseen, but are no less real and difficult. It is in these everyday situations that Christ is calling us to move beyond ourselves and express solidarity to our neighbour.

Events[5]
  • There are still many events to be advised, especially local events organised by Holy Spirit. We will update this page throughtout the course of the year
  • Father Joe is making the the sacrament of reconciliation available to us at additional times during this special year.
  • 13/12/2015: 'Walking Into Mercy' Holy Spirit Parish Pilgrimage to St. Patrick's: We are heading in as a group to St. Patrick's cathedral. Come along and join us by clicking here to find out more.
  • 13/12/2015: 'Walking Into Mercy' Pilgrimage to St. Patrick's: Pilgrimage to the Cathedral where like churches around the world, a holy door of mercy will be opened to officially mark the beginning of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. Archbishop Denis Hart will lead a prayer service followed by a picnic in the Cathedral grounds. Each 'pilgrim' is invited to bring a photo of someone who has been merciful to them or someone they wish to pray for during the Year, and place it on a ‘wall of mercy’ along the outside of the Cathedral.
    • There will be a pilgrimage starting at St Joseph’s in Boronia at 7 a.m. and reaching St. Patrick’s Cathedral at 5:30 p.m. in time to enter the Holy Door and attend mass in the Cathedral at 6:30pm. The route will follow the Belgrave Rail Trail, the Dandenong Creek Trail, East Link Trail, Mullum Mullum Creek Trail, Koonung Creek Trail, the Main Yarra Trail and Yarra Boulevard. Only the last few kms will be on city streets. This path will take us through (or very close) to various parishes including ours. For full information on the route, plus suggested points at which others might choose to join in this pilgrimage and full maps refer: http://scecclesia.com/other-stuff/to-the-holy-door-a-pilgrimage-of-mercy-december-13, or phone (03) 9926 5708 or 0400 978 938 for more information. Oragniser / Contact: David Schütz, Executive Officer, Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission
  • 10/02/2016: 'Kryie Eleison' Penetential Service, St. Monica's Moonee PondsAn Ash Wednesday repentance service led by Auxiliary Bishop Terry Curtin and hosted by the parishes of the Northern region. The service is open to all and will be a simple and beautiful gathering to engage local parishioners, schools, migrant groups and the community.
  • 03/04/2016: Divine Mercy Sunday, various venues across the archdiocese. Details to come.
  • 18/06/2016: Mercy Matters Mass. To be held in the Holy Spirit Church on Saturday at 6 p.m. This mass will tie in with the feast of the Sacred Heart and the parish's annual Winter Warmer Mass and St. Vinnie's food drive.
  • 23/10/2016: Stand For Mercy. 10 a.m. - 12 noon. Public demonstration of what we stand for. Watch The Word and stay tuned in September - October for more details on this event.
  • 20/11/2016: 'Come As You Are' Year of Mercy closing Event. Archdiocese gathering to conclude the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, with a special focus on our community's 'mercy makers', e.g. those working in aged care, prison ministry, Vinnies, refugee support and many more. Celebrations to be led by Archbishop Denis Hart.
  • 27/11/2016: Year of Mercy combined Mass and picinic. The Parishes of Holy Spirit, St. Anne and St. Gerard will come together at Holy Spirit for a combined mass and picnic to conclude the Year of Mercy. Watch The Word for details on this event closer to the date.
Year of Mercy Prayer (and Music) http://www.catholicaustralia.com.au/the-church/200-papal-elections-3

Excerpts from Pope Francis' Bull of Indiction on the Extraordinary Year of Jubilee Year of Mercy[6]
  • ... On the parables of Mercy "In the parables devoted to mercy, Jesus reveals the nature of God as that of a Father who never gives up until he has forgiven the wrong and overcome rejection with compassion and mercy. We know these parables well, three in particular: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the father with two sons (cf. Lk 15:1-32). In these parables, God is always presented as full of joy, especially when he pardons. In them we find the core of the Gospel and of our faith ... Pardoning offences becomes the clearest expression of merciful love, and for us Christians it is an imperative from which we cannot excuse ourselves. At times how hard it seems to forgive! And yet pardon is the instrument placed into our fragile hands to attain serenity of heart. To let go of anger, wrath, violence, and revenge are necessary conditions to living joyfully."
  • ... On returning to basics “Perhaps we have long since forgotten how to show and live the way of mercy. The temptation, on the one hand, to focus exclusively on justice made us forget that this is only the first, albeit necessary and indispensable step. But the Church needs to go beyond and strive for a higher and more important goal. On the other hand, sad to say, we must admit that the practice of mercy is waning in the wider culture. ...without a witness to mercy, life becomes fruitless and sterile, as if sequestered in a barren desert. The time has come for the Church to take up the joyful call to mercy once more. It is time to return to the basics and to bear the weaknesses and struggles of our brothers and sisters."
  • ... On mercy as an opportunity for encounter "There is an aspect of mercy that goes beyond the confines of the Church. It relates us to Judaism and Islam, both of which consider mercy to be one of God’s most important attributes. Israel was the first to receive this revelation which continues in history as the source of an inexhaustible richness meant to be shared with all mankind. As we have seen, the pages of the Old Testament are steeped in mercy, because they narrate the works that the Lord performed in favour of his people at the most trying moments of their history. Among the privileged names that Islam attributes to the Creator are "Merciful and Kind". This invocation is often on the lips of faithful Muslims who feel themselves accompanied and sustained by mercy in their daily weakness. They too believe that no one can place a limit on divine mercy because its doors are always open. ... I trust that this Jubilee year celebrating the mercy of God will foster an encounter with these religions and with other noble religious traditions; may it open us to even more fervent dialogue so that we might know and understand one another better; may it eliminate every form of closed-mindedness and disrespect, and drive out every form of violence and discrimination."
Acknowlegements
[1] Almost all of the material on this page has been taken from the Catholic Archdiocese Melbourne's "Mercy Volume II" which can be found at http://www.cam.org.au/Portals/52/yom-newspaper/yom-vol2/

Annual Holy Spirit Community Mass and Meal and Launch of the Year of Mercy

On Sunday 29th November at 5.00pm, we held our special Parish Community Mass and Meal. This year we were honoured to have Bishop Mark Edwards in attendance to officiate the Mass. Bishop Mark worked with our Grade Six students earlier in the year for their Confirmation. Father Joe also invited Fathers Eugene San, Allan Mithen, Josef Butscher, Leenus Neetany, Jose Joseph and Ralp Besterwitch, all of which joined us for the Community Mass and Meal which included the launch of the Year of Mercy.

The official count was put at around 250 here being that the averarge person would consume two sausages (there were 500 eaten, plus chicken, salad and desserts). Come to think of it I think there must have been more!

   
Bishop Mark and the seven priests consecrating
   
   
Launch of the Year of Mercy
   
   
Community Meal
   
   
Bishop Mark and the children


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