God desires to show His people mercy.
The difficulty comes when we create barriers to the mercy through the hardness of our hearts.
Come open your heart to the flow of God's mercy and grace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Sunday, October 9, 2016, at Catholic churches in the Diocese of Salina - part of the Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis.
To help prepare for this Day of Mercy, a special reflection guide has been designed to help facilitate conversation about where people are in their faith journey, what is troubling their hearts and changes they would like to make in their lives. These guides are available at local parishes of by clicking the link below.
Join us Sunday, October 9, 2016 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.
The Holy Year traditionally begins with the opening of the Holy Door to represent a renewed opportunity to encounter or grow closer to Jesus, who calls everyone to redemption.
Jesus knocks on everyone’s door; he yearns to accompany and nourish everyone. “If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me,” the Book of Revelation quotes him as saying.
But doors are also narrow, the late-Cardinal Virgilio Noe, the former archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica wrote, and people must stoop with humility and “be brought down to size by conversion” in order to be “fit” for eternal life.
That is why passing through a Holy Door is part of a longer process of sacrifice and conversion required for receiving an indulgence granted during a Holy Year.
A plenary indulgence, the remission of temporal punishment due to sin, is offered for pilgrims who also fulfill certain other conditions: reception of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, visits and prayers for the intention of the pope and performing simple acts such as visiting the sick.
Salina — For Father Steve Heina, the upcoming Year of Mercy means just one thing: “It’s all about hope,” he said. On Divine Mercy Sunday in April, Pope Francis announced a Jubilee Year of Mercy to be celebrated from Dec. 8 until Nov. 20, 2016.
The theme of the year is “Merciful Like the Father,” but Father Heina has his own take on it: “To set free those entrapped by darkness, sin and death: not to accuse, but to give hope.” “It’s all about hope — a balance of justice and mercy, in the words of Pope Francis,” he added.
As moderator of the diocesan Office of the New Evangelization, Father Heina is working in tandem with Father Frank Coady, Father Don Zimmerman and Father Joseph Kieffer — and under the direction of Bishop Edward Weisenburger — in crafting diocesan events for the Year of Mercy.
Many of their ideas are still in the planning stages, and as Father Heina noted, the Vatican is still developing and disseminating suggestions on how the year should be recognized.
Pope Francis has spoken repeatedly on the need for mercy, not only among the faithful but by the Church itself. “He says you can’t change the rules of Christian living, but perhaps we as a Church can do better being with, walking with people who aren’t following the rules, and to do it in a more compassionate kind of way,” Father Heina said.
The diocesan events all incorporate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which Father Heina said is key to receiving God’s mercy. But he added that Pope Francis also is stressing that action focusing on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy is imperative.
“Pope Francis says it’s critical that to experience God’s mercy, to the best of our efforts there has to be some kind of hands-on action, either Spiritual or Corporal Works of Mercy,” Father Heina said, “not only to fulfill a requirement but to open our own hearts to God’s grace in the process.”
Here are details about events planned so far:
A special Year of Faith examination of conscience
Year of Mercy Masses
Diocesan Day of Mercy
Spiritual Works of Mercy
Corporal Works of Mercy