THE YEAR OF MERCY ARCHDIOCESE OF JOS, SUGGESTED INITIATIVES
The Holy Father, Pope Francis declared a Jubilee Year of Mercy from 8th December 2015 to 20th November, 2016, encouraging that the whole Church should rediscover in a special way the meaning of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy: “It is my burning desire that, during this Jubilee, the Christian people may reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy” (Misericordiae VultusNo. 15).
All Catholics in the Archdiocese of Jos are therefore requested to kindly study and master the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy and their meanings and how they are to be applied concretely by individuals and groups. “Happy are those who are merciful to others; God will be merciful to them” (Mt 5:7).
The Corporal Works of Mercy are:
- To feed the hungry;
- To give drink to the thirsty;
- To clothe the naked;
- To harbour the homeless;
- To visit the sick;
- To visit the prisoners;
- To bury the dead.
The Spiritual Works of Mercy are:
- To instruct the ignorant;
- To counsel the doubtful;
- To admonish sinners;
- To bear wrongs patiently;
- To forgive offences willingly;
- To comfort the afflicted;
- To pray for the living and the dead.
OPENING OF THE HOLY DOOR AT OUR LADY OF FATIMA CATHEDRAL, JOS
On 3rd Sunday of Advent, December 13, 2015. The Achbishop joins the universal church in celebrating the opening of the year of mercy at the Our Lady of Fatima Cathedral. key point of the event is the symbolic opening of the Cathedral’s main door an invatation to share in the mercy and love of the Saviour, who is Lord of all and for all.
2nd January 2016: Mass of Mercy:during which all the priests and Religious of the Archdiocese and the Lay Faithful will be present. A catechesis on the Year of Mercy will take place, concretized by the distribution of material relief to prisoners, widows, orphans and internally displaced people affected by the Boko Haram crisis. A voluntary Church worker Mr. Patrick Gyang of Shen parish, who has served for fifty two years, will be honoured as an example of selfless service in recognition of his modest way of meeting the spiritual and material needs of the needy and the Church. The ordination of seven Deacons will take place on this day.
Month of January 2016: Replicating the opening of the door of mercy followed by effective catechesis on what the Year of Mercy means and how to concretely apply it in our local circumstances. Each parish and chaplaincy to take a date for this.
PRACTICAL INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP ACTIVITIES OF MERCY
Pope Francis’ Prayer for the Jubilee Year of Mercy (see prayer attached)
The Three O’clock Prayer to the Divine (cf. St. Faustina) is encouraged.
Parishioners are encouraged to participate more actively in the work of such societies as St. Vincent De Paul, Legion of Mary, Community of Sant”Egidio whose focus is the poor
Parish Masses of Mercy to be organized once a month, while the Deanery Mass will be twice in the Year
Parish penitential service and confessions once a month, with an exchange of confessors drawn from the Deanery (Deans to note please)
Prayer should lead to concrete works of charity
Family Rosary for the intentions of the sick, the poor, the unemployed, the prisoners, the hungry, marginalized, widows, orphans, etc
Deanery Mass of Mercy to be organized by each deanery
More attention to be given in raising funds to build our new Divine Mercy Cathedral
Family meetings/prayer in groups of five or six in neighbourhoods to discuss family values and how to be each other’s brothers and sisters
Retreats for Husbands and wives at OLF Family Centre, Giring and Centre for Renewal, Utane Lane. Please, contact Sr. Lucy Gidado, OLF (tel. 08034535209) and Sr. Sophia Onuora, SHCJ (tel.08033251555) for arrangements.
Priests to come together to clean the Centre for Rehabilitation premises, Sabon Gidan Kanar and donate to the centre plus any other initiative
Religious to visit OLA Jos, Zawan Hospitals and Mandela Clinic to cheer up patients, clean their environment and to embark on any other charitable initiative.
Youths to organize visits to old people in their locality to keep them company and help out; visit orpanages and engage in any other charitable initiative.
Women to pray with teenage girls, promote their social activities. Visit Female Catechists’ Formation Centre, Kwall and support. Share prayers and skills with widows.
Catechists, voluntary catechists and marriage formators to give more time and attention to formation in faith.
Catholic Lawyers to come to the aid of prisoners and those with interpersonal conflicts
Catholic Doctors to offer voluntary medical service one hour a week to our hospitals and clinics and organize village medical out-reach .
Knights to visit lukewarm Catholics and encourage those not married in Church to do so. Intensify support for the training of seminarians. Visit some outstation Churches and have Sunday service with them; embark on any other initiative.
Parishes to conclude the Year of Mercy in parish Churches with Mass during which gifts will be taken for the poor on 20th November, 2016
Archdiocesan Conclusion of the Year of Mercy with Holy Mass to be presided by the Archbishop November 20th 2016.
Please Note Well:A letter from the Pontifical Council for promoting New Evangelization suggests a one day spiritual retreat on the theme, Caritas Christi Urget Nos (The love of Christ Compels Us) by each Church society, commission, etc. The material to be used will be made available later.
We suggest that all the parishes, Church societies, religious congregations, neighbourhood communities, families, youths, women, children groups, schools and other institutions, together with their chaplains will come up with some more concrete initiatives, to be submitted in January to Fr. Peter Uchu and Fr. James Davou for input and guidance. The Archdiocesan Pastoral and Liturgy Commission is to coordinate and monitor the activities of the Year of Mercy.
Thank you for your understanding and kind anticipated cooperation. May the Year of Mercy be creatively celebrated in service of the needy of our society, so that mercy can flow like a river.
Most Rev. Ignatius A. Kaigama,
Archbishop of Jos.