Diocesan Year of Mercy
The Holy Father Pope Francis has chosen a theme for the jubilee year that is close to his heart: mercy. He announced an extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy from Dec. 8, 2015 to Nov. 20, 2016.
“I am convinced that the whole Church will be able to find in this jubilee the joy of rediscovering and making fruitful the mercy of God, with which we are all called to give consolation to every man and every woman of our time." — Pope Francis
“Dear brothers and sisters, I have thought about how the Church can make clear its mission of being a witness of mercy,” he said. “It’s a journey that starts with a spiritual conversion. For this reason I have decided to declare an extraordinary jubilee that has the mercy of God at its center. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy.”
The biblical passage for the holy year’s theme comes from Luke 6:36, in which Jesus tells his disciples, “Be merciful as your Father is merciful.”
“I am convinced that the whole Church will be able to find in this jubilee the joy of rediscovering and making fruitful the mercy of God, with which we are all called to give consolation to every man and every woman of our time," said the Holy Father.
Mercy is the central topic of the pope’s episcopal motto “miserando atque eligendo.” One translation of the motto, taken from a homily given by St. Bede on Jesus’ calling of St. Matthew, is “with eyes of mercy.”
In his first Angelus address on March 17, 2013, Pope Francis spoke of “feeling mercy ... this word changes everything.”
Mercy “is the best thing we can feel: it changes the world,” he said. “A little mercy makes the world less cold and more just. We need to understand properly this mercy of God, this merciful Father who is so patient.” Read the complete article in Arkansas Catholic.
Special events are planned throughout the Year of Mercy including pilgrimages, prayer services, Masses, retreats and parish missions, all with strong calls to conversion and repentance. There are also special opportunities to experience God's grace through the sacraments, especially reconciliation. See Year of Mercy Events in Arkansas. Access to the sacrament of reconciliation will be increased by having parishes open their doors for extended periods with priests available. See our schedule for reconciliation times or contact a parish near you to make an appointment with a priest.
Pope Francis asked that every diocese have a door of mercy during the jubilee year "as a place of pilgrimage and spiritual renewal for the faithful." Ten special events will be held for pilgrims to visit the diocesan Door of Mercy on the first Saturday of each month through November 2016. Pilgrims are also invited to tour the diocesan House of Formation where seminarians will serve as “ambassadors of mercy” to give presentations on the Year of Mercy. To learn more, visit our Calendar of Events. In addition, pilgrims may visit the door of mercy any time during the jubilee year by calling the Our Lady of Good Counsel Church office at (501) 666-5073 to make a reservation.- See more at: http://www.dolr.org/year-of-mercy#sthash.wLsw1cDg.dpuf