What is the Year of Mercy?

“Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” — Luke 6:36 What is the Year of Mercy? On March 13, Pope Francis declared an Extraordinary Year of Mercy that will begin Dec. 8 and extend through Nov. 20, 2016. In his address that day, he said he often thought about how the church could be…

What do we mean by ‘mercy’?

Pope Francis asked Catholics to “gaze attentively” on mercy to become a more effective sign of God’s action on earth. He said that “we need to constantly contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity and peace. Our salvation depends on it.” To help honor his request, The Visitor asked a…

Reforms to annulment process show mercy

By Kristi Anderson The Visitor Earlier this fall, Pope Francis announced that the process for those seeking a declaration of nullity of marriage, or an annulment, would be undergoing some changes to help the process become more pastoral and to reduce the length of time the process takes. “The Holy Father wanted to expedite the…

A Holy Door – Year of Mercy

Bishop Donald Kettler sealed and locked a Holy Door for the Year of Mercy at St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud Nov. 12. The door was sealed at a special Mass that also celebrated vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. It will reopen Dec. 13, the third Sunday of Advent, just a few days…

Year of Mercy, Christmas, New Year prayers fill pope’s calendar

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis’ calendar of Masses and prayer services for December and January are a combination of annual Advent and Christmas celebrations and added events for the beginning of the Year of Mercy. In St. Peter’s Basilica Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass and open…

Holy Door to be sealed at St. Mary’s Cathedral

Image of the Year of Mercy and papal tiara will identify Holy Door; Mass will also celebrate vocations By Kristi Anderson The Visitor The row of heavy wooden doors that aligns the front of St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud has welcomed people from all walks of life, from countless corners of the world. Inside…

Administering mercy: Facilitating forgiveness does not downplay sin

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Always, but especially during a Holy Year, the Catholic Church does everything possible to help Catholics repent of their sins, receive forgiveness and draw closer to God. The church’s law and its canon lawyers are part of that effort, said Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative…