Year of Mercy

Year of Mercy: Tuesday 8th December 2015 - Sunday 20th November 2016

Pope Francis has declared an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. This Holy Year of Mercy will begin on December 8th 2015, the feast of the Immaculate Conception and the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council.

The Jubilee of Mercy, given to us by Pope Francis, invites us to contemplate the mercy of God revealed to us in the face of Jesus, his Son. Keeping our eyes fixed and focused on him, the Holy Father leads us as a community of faith to ponder, learn, understand, and experience the steadfast love of the Lord, to encounter once again the tender love of God, and to be filled with the knowledge of his boundless love for us. Knowing that love, understanding and experiencing that love and mercy, Pope Francis is bidding us to then reflect on how we might better radiate and reflect the mercy of God into our world. He beckons us into a kind of ‘school’ of mercy through the pilgrimage of the Jubilee so that we might be converted by God’s tender love in order to be mercy for our world and for all people.

This is a Jubilee of welcome, of belonging, of accompanying others as they draw near to encounter Gods love for them. Through our crossing of a threshold, we move into deeper communion with God… but it’s a threshold that we cross ourselves, first, and then accompany others, too, in their desire to find – in God – gentleness, forgiveness, boundless love and mercy. Beginning on 8 December 2015 and closing on 20 November 2016, this Year of Mercy may be a real opportunity for us to rediscover the beauty of knowing the friendship of Christ and to seek to draw others into that loving friendship.

Year of Mercy – Diocesan invitation: As Pope Francis invites us to cross the threshold of the Jubilee, so as a diocesan family we gather with Bishop Declan in our cathedral for Evening Prayer on 8 December at 7pm. This should be a prayerful start to our pilgrimage into the Jubilee. The liturgy in the cathedral is an invitation to all in our diocese - pupils, staff and governors. It would be great to see you there.