Gathering Effective, Evangelizing Parish Practices for the Jubilee Year of Mercy - Joyce Donahue, Diocese of Joliet
As we enter the Year of Mercy, declared by Pope Francis, dioceses and parishes are putting out resources to assist lay people to develop a lived response to Pope Francis’ call to a closer relationship with Christ and to acceptance of the tender forgiveness of the Father. We hope this year will animate our people to engage in reaching out through corporal and spiritual works of mercy to serve and evangelize others in a variety of ways.
Our publishing partners in evangelization and catechesis, have aptly created web pages, prayer cards, bulletin stuffers, group resources and more to help accomplish this. Of course, we want parish leaders to make use of these items, created by professionals. However, in our diocese, we also believe that there is much creative wisdom among our parish leaders, who are engaging in evangelizing catechesis on the ground level.
Here, we have begun to solicit from our catechetical leaders the ideas and practices that are starting to spring up in parishes around the diocese, so they can be shared with other leaders - sort of a digital exchange webpage where Year of Mercy resources are given and “borrowed.” We’ll see how it goes but our catechetical leaders are excited about it and say they plan to use it. Perhaps your diocese might want to create something of this sort for your leaders to share their best, most evangelizing Year of Mercy ideas and practices. Talk to your diocesan leaders about this.
Check out our page here. The responses are just starting to come in. We hope to build a good collection of sharable resources on the page. Stay tuned and check back soon!
Click her for the Diocese of Joliet - Year of Mercy Resource List.
A recent poll shows that, among religious groups, 60 percent of American Catholics think America’s best days are yet to come - in sharp contrast to 40 percent of Protestants and 49% of all Americans. There is something about being Catholic that imbues us with a positive sense of the future and hope for better things to come.
Especially as we celebrate the liturgies of Advent and Christmas, the words of the Mass speak of the Incarnation as a beacon of hope. Jesus was born a human being to show us the unfailing love of the Father, give us the promise of his presence and ultimately, victory over death. Our worship is filled with the confidence which led the Apostle Paul to write: “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
“Hope is the theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness, placing our trust in Christ's promises and relying not on our own strength, but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1817).