CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Pope thanked for extending commission of Missionaries of Mercy

HONG KONG (SE): Father Luigi Bonalumi from the Pontifical Foreign Missions Institute (PIME), expressed gratitude to Pope Francis after meeting him at the Vatican on April 10, for recognising the need to spread God’s forgiveness and mercy to the world.
The PIME priest was among the over 1,000 priests commissioned by Pope Francis in early 2016 to represent him as a Missionary of Mercy during the Year of Mercy (December 2015 to November 2016) and facilitate events related to the jubilee year, with particular emphasis on the sacrament of Reconciliation. 
Around 550 Missionaries of Mercy gathered in Rome for a few days of prayer and reflection organised by the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation. 
They attended a ceremony marking the Divine Mercy Sunday on April 8, and had an audience with the pope two days later. 
Pope Francis told them they are providing a much needed service to the Church, and reminded them that they are cooperating with God to bring his forgiveness and mercy to the world.
Father Bonalumi told the Kung Kao Po from Rome that he was glad that the pope supports their work and understands the importance of letting people know that they are forgiven through the sacrament of Reconciliation.
According to a Vatican News report on April 10, Pope Francis told them that, although their original commission only covered the Jubilee of Mercy, he had decided to prolong their mission until further notice because of the many testimonies of conversion due to their service. He also encouraged them to live out the merciful love of God they received so as to better carry out their work. 
At present, there are around 890 Missionaries of Mercy.
Father Bonalum, was assigned to Hong Kong in 1989 and was parish priest at the Immaculate Heart of Mary parish, Tai Po, before he left Hong Kong in September last year. He is now studying at the Sophia University Institute in Italy. 
He explained that he would stay with a PIME formation group in Monza in June to train over 50 seminarians in the next semester. He hopes that the congregation will send more young missionaries to Hong Kong.

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