'I have decided to announce an Extraordinary Jubilee which has at its centre the mercy of God. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy. We want to live in the light of the word of the Lord: “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful” (cf. Lk 6:36). And this especially applies to confessors! So much mercy! This Holy Year will commence on the next Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and will conclude on Sunday, 20 November 2016, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe and living face of the Father's mercy.'
+ Pope Francis
Most Catholics experience the faith through a single cultural lens. Yet people all around the world live and imagine it in a rich diversity of ways. Catholics & Cultures is a growing, changing chronicle of the role of Catholicism among the people and within the cultures where it is lived.
John 20:19 - 23
May 24, 2015
The season of Easter concludes with today's celebration, the feast of Pentecost. On Pentecost we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem; this event marks the beginning of the Church. The story of Pentecost is found in the Acts of the Apostles, today's first reading. The account in today's Gospel, John 20:19-23, also recounts how Jesus gave the gift of the Holy Spirit to his disciples. Yet the event in John's Gospel takes place on Easter Sunday. There is no need to try to reconcile these two accounts. It is to we know that after his death, Jesus fulfilled his promise to send to his disciples a helper, an Advocate, who would enable them to be his witnesses throughout the world.
In the context of the feast of Pentecost, John 20:19-23 reminds us about the integral connection between the gifts of peace and forgiveness and the action of the Holy Spirit. Jesus greets his disciples with the gift of peace. Jesus then commissions his disciples to continue the work that he has begun: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” He breathes the Holy Spirit upon the disciples and sends them to continue his work of reconciliation through the forgiveness of sins. Jesus' act of breathing the Holy Spirit upon the apostles mirrors God's act of breathing life into Adam. In fact, both the Greek and Hebrew words for “spirit” can also be translated as “breath.” This Gospel reminds us that the Church is called to be a reconciling presence in the world. The reconciling presence of Christ is celebrated in the Church's sacramental life. In the Sacrament of Baptism, we are cleansed of sin and become a new creation in Christ. In the Sacrament of Penance, the Church celebrates the mercy of God through the forgiveness of sins. This reconciling presence is also to be a way of life for Christians. In situations of conflict, we are to be agents of peace and harmony among people.
© Loyola Press
Used with permission
Parish of the Precious Blood
November 25, 2014
Dear Visioning Participants,
It is with a profound sense of pride and gratitude as we reach out to all of you who participated in the Parish Visioning Process. Wow, what an outcome! In the next few days, I will put out e-mails to 80 participants. The excitement is felt in our Pastoral Council; help us to keep that excitement alive!
We feel we should share some of that excitement with you. Highlights of our Pastoral Council meeting consisted of comments such as: The presence of the Holy Spirit was most powerful; worship sites came together to share faith; a vision of our Parish Life was presented; the ability to connect a name with a face gave us a sense of community and unity. The testimonies given by some of you were powerful and easy to relate to. Father Labrie was amazed at how two sessions (Nov. 1 & Nov. 8) had the same concerns and insights. He felt that all of you were concerned and engaged in these sessions. He also shared that ‘we are together more than we realize’.
Where do we go from here? Only forward because whatever we do will help us to grow stronger as a parish community.
A lot of work still needs to be done; don’t be scared to continue to share your ideas and gifts with us. Join your Church Councils, be part of your Church Committees, come to a Pastoral Council Meeting, and as we develop a new way of reaching out to all parishioners; BE INVOLVED, MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Attached, you will find a copy of the results of the data collected in the 5 major categories (Communication, Internal Hospitality, External Hospitality, Sharing the Faith and Strengthening the Family) and the action plan that was formulated by all of you.
On November 15, 2014, you and all of us together made it happen! We, the Pastoral Council want to thank each of you for your willingness to participate in moving these plans forward.