Pope Francis announced an extraordinary Jubilee to start at the end of the year, the
Holy Year of Mercy that will open this year on Dec. 8 — the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – and will close Nov. 20, 2016 with the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.
The year‘s theme invites mankind to be kind-hearted with the motto “Be merciful
as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). One of the themes focus is the wider access to the
Sacrament of Confession:
“The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be one of the main pillars of the Jubilee Year of
Mercy. In April 23, 2016, St Peter‘s Square will be transformed into an open air confessional. This event will coincide with the Year of Mercy events for the youth.
The Pope encourages all the Bishops in the entire global Roman Catholic Church to open a “ Door of Mercy” in cathedrals or churches around the world as a sign of God‘s opening a new pathway to salvation. (St. Paul‘s Church in Bergen set to open a Door of Mercy in line of the event”). There will be millions of pilgrims in Rome waiting and expected to walk through the Holy Door of St. Peter‘s Basilica and participates in various events.
–It‘s a pilgrimage to show one‘s commitment to renew the faith and to become a witness of mercy, said Mgr. Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization and organizer of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.”
Here in St. Johannes church — Groruddalen, wishes to take an active part in the coming year.
As the parish priest writes:
“Dear congregation, brothers and sisters in Christ. The Holy Year of Mercy invites us
to demonstrate our mercy and compassion through actions and words.
God showed His mercy by sending His only Son, Jesus Christ, to the world to free us
from the slavery of sin and to become the Children of Light. Do we dare to show compassion
to each other and reach out a hand for others in situations when they need our help?
The love that God shows us is more than enough that we can share it with each other, instead
of keeping it for ourselves. To not share charity with others, is to limit the love and
compassion that God the Father wants to share with everyone.
If we actually think this way, we are indirectly supporting the injustices unfolding in society, community and church. How selfish can we be if we do not let Jesus Christ works in us, so that God’s Spirit can motivate us to bring glad tidings to others? In the spirit of mercy, Pope Francis wishes to do something about this, through works of mercy by focusing on: sharing, helping, having compassion and faith.
This year, it is my wish that we, in the church, should focus more on the sacraments, the Sacraments Eucharist and Reconciliation. The catechesis for children and young people is important, also for adults, through togetherness in family life and in the Church’s great community. The parish has started early with the celebration of Holy Year of Mercy by arranging Helsetorget in late October. There were volunteer health workers in the church premises giving free health check to anyone who wanted to avail this offer. We will continue this charitable work also in the future.
In line with Holy Year of Mercy celebration, below is the outline of activities from 8th of December 2015 to 20th of November 2016:
~ We pray the Angelus every Friday at 12:00, with the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament all morning until the solemn blessing at 17:30, followed after by evening Mass.
~ Candlelight Mass /Rorate Mass will be celebrated every 7:00 in the mornings of December 17–23.
~ The themes for demonstration of mercy and compassion will be presented every month at St. Luke‘s church parish premises. Themes will be presented visually and with challenges and call to everyone for action.
~ Pater prater (Pater talks) is arrange after the High Mass every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. The concept comes from the NUK camps and we will do something similar however, with a twist considering this is a catechesis for adults. Pater talks begin immediately after High mass and lasts for 30 min. Catechesis is open to everyone who wants to take the chance of learning more about the Catholic faith. More information will come in Sunday‘s magazine.
~ Sacraments of Reconciliation can be received an hour before the evening Mass on weekdays, with Fridays from 12:00 to 17:00. Other times can be agreed and scheduled with a priest.
~ A 24- Hour adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will start on the 15th April Friday at 9:00 to 16th of April at 9:00. We will conclude the adoration with a Mass. There will be lunch served afterwards. May the Holy Spirit guides us as we exercise our compassion in spreading the Gospel through reconciliation and forgiveness, mercy and compassion. I wish you all a blessed year. ”