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Mercy and forgiveness

For nearly the whole of 2016, the Catholic Church throughout the world celebrated the Jubilee of Mercy instituted by Pope Francis in 2015 to promote the spirit of universal pardon in the world and remission of sins among the faithful.








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Holy Doors close around China

SHIJIAZHUANG (SE): “The Holy Door is closed, but the mercy of the Lord is upon us forever; the proclamation of the Lord’s mercy continues; the door of mercy in our hearts remains open forever; the work of mercy continues,” Fides reported in describing the spirit in which the Church in China ended the Jubilee of Mercy on 13 November.

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Not an end but a beginning

HONG KONG (SE): “Here on earth time passes, but God is eternal and likewise his mercy is everlasting,” John Cardinal Tong Hon said at a Mass celebrated at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on the evening of November 13 to mark the closing of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.

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A bus that has mercy

HONG KONG (SE): Hong Kong diocese has invested in a minibus service. Throughout the Year of Mercy the 20 vehicles bearing images of Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis will ply 10 routes around Hong Kong island, Kowloon and the New Territories.

The buses are for public use and will charge the standard fare.

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Mercy does not have to wait for guidelines

MANILA (UCAN): “Mercy cannot wait. Mercy should not wait,” the Philippine bishops said in response to the exhortation of Pope Francis, The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia), released at the Vatican on April 8.

In a pastoral letter issued on April 10, the bishops said that even before they can come up with concrete guidelines on the implementation of the exhortation, everybody must open welcoming arms to those who have kept themselves out of the Church.

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24 Hours for the Lord

HONG KONG (SE): Hong Kong joined in the 24 Hours for the Lord initiative that Pope Francis called for with four parishes on Hong Kong island and five in both the New Territories and Kowloon keeping their doors open from the morning of March 4 to the evening of March 5.

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Mercy theme for Lent in China

BEIJING (SE): The letter from Pope Francis convoking the Jubilee of Mercy, especially its stress on performing corporal works of charity and mercy, has become the main theme for the observance of Lent in China this year.

The Face of God (Misericordiae Vultus) was the central theme of a retreat held in the parish of Xuanhua, Hebei province, between February 24 and 27.

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No fares on the Mercy Bus

MANCHESTER (CNS): The Mercy Bus, an initiative for the Year of Mercy, parks in a neighbourhood of Manchester in England, or one of the nearby towns, each Saturday.

Volunteers offer shoppers gifts of miraculous medals and no fares are charged to get on board.

Priests are available to talk or for confession. Father Frankie Mulgrew, one of the priests involved in the project, described the response as out passing expectations.

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Ash Wednesday in China

BEIJING (SE): The Catholic community in mainland China celebrated the beginning of Lent in communion with the universal Church, paying particular attention to being in tune with the Jubilee of Mercy.

Fides reported that the rite of distribution ashes was marked in Changshu in the diocese of Suzhou, where a 98-year-old priest placed the ashes in the sign of the cross on the foreheads of hundreds of people.

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A new year and a Holy Door opened

On January 1, around 2,000 people gathered at the Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in Tai Po to witness the ceremony of the Opening of the Door of Mercy, which was presided over by John Cardinal Tong Hon.

The cardinal began the proceedings with the rite of introduction outside the church, saying, “Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Mother of God and open the Door of Mercy as instructed by Pope Francis. Let us now call upon the mercy of God.”