Archbishop Hebda: Year of Mercy should promote existing avenues of mercy

| December 8, 2015 | 0 Comments

A day before the Year of Mercy began Dec. 8, Archbishop Bernard Hebda encouraged priests of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to follow Pope Francis’ directives not to begin new programs for the Holy Year, but rather to guide the faithful to existing “avenues of mercy.”

The archdiocese’s apostolic administrator, Archbishop Hebda pointed to the archdiocese’s Year of Mercy page, which recommends pastors ring their church’s bells daily at 3 p.m., the hour of mercy; recruit staff members to lead the Divine Mercy chaplet daily at the parish; and encourage Catholics to frequent the sacrament of reconciliation.

The site also encourages the faithful to pray and, by meeting the usual conditions for a plenary indulgence, avail themselves to the jubilee indulgence available at the Cathedral of St. Paul and the Basilica of St. Mary. The site also encourages Catholics to especially fast and pray on First Fridays of the month, a traditional day of penitence and a devotion in the Church to the sacred heart of Jesus.

The archdiocese is also spearheading a social media initiative with the hashtag #MercyWorks. Schools and parishes are encouraged to share photos and video of their students or members preforming works of mercy in their communities.

“As Pope Francis has stated repeatedly: No one can be excluded from the mercy of God,” Archbishop Hebda wrote in the letter to priests, sent Dec. 7.

He added: “I ask that you bring these resources to the attention of your staff and lay leaders in the hope that they, and all your parishioners, might be inspired to enter more deeply into the Year of Mercy and to see it as a possible instrument for the healing that so many in our archdiocese seem to be seeking.”

The Cathedral and Basilica are opening special Year of Mercy Holy Doors Dec. 13. The Basilica will open its Holy Door before 9:30 a.m. Mass and the Cathedral will open its door before 10 a.m. Mass.

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