CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Jubilee Year of Mercy begins on December 8

HONG KONG (SE): In preparation for the Jubilee Year of Divine Mercy, which will be launched in Hong Kong on December 8, the preparation committee gave a series of briefings between October 30 and November 1 on the objectives and the make up of the planned activities for the coming year.

The year was described as being a time to consciously make an extra effort to live out the meaning of mercy in action.

 It is also being billed as an opportunity to study the nature of the virtue of mercy and the positive effect that it has on the life of society.

The briefings were held at the Catholic Diocese Centre, the Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in Tai Po and St. Francis of Assisi in Shamshuipo. Around 200 people attended the October 31 gathering at Shamshuipo.

Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing, the chairperson of the preparation committee, said that mercy is the foundation of Church life and people should bear witness to it by living out the virtue to bring others closer to God.

The bishop explained that God has set mercy as a model of the Christian life and the mercy of Jesus is always visible in the gospel accounts of his miracles.

He added that the mercy of God is an overriding theme in both the Old and New Testaments.

Bishop Ha said the Church will respond to the Jubilee of Mercy both liturgically and actively. 

While Pope Francis is set to open the Holy Door in Rome, local Church organisations in Hong Kong will act to strengthen their charitable services and concrete community outreach to marginalised people.

He added that there is no conflict between justice and mercy, as they can coexist without tension.

Father Thomas Law Kwok-fai, the chairperson of the Diocesan Liturgy Commission, said the Church intends to allow everyone, including shut-ins like the aged, the sick and prisoners, to receive an indulgence through their open outreach to others.

He said that Pope Francis will also grant the priests from the missionaries of mercy, who must be recommended by their local bishops, the authority to absolve sins normally reserved to the Holy See.

Father Law said, that as during previous jubilee years, in the Holy Year of Mercy, people will be encouraged to make pilgrimages to designated churches in the diocese and repent of their shortcomings, with the aim of spiritually refreshing themselves.

He believes that through receiving the pilgrims, the Church can gather the power of love and send a positive message to society.

Rosa Lai Yuk-fai, from the Ad Hoc Committee for the Jubilee Year of Divine of Mercy, encouraged people to join the various activities that are being scheduled.

She especially highlighted the ceremonies for the opening of the holy doors in churches around the city, which will be held during December and January, in addition to other functions.

Seven churches in Hong Kong will receive pilgrims during the Jubilee of Mercy and related arrangements and activities will be published in a handbook at a future date.


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