Fr. John's Letter Archives

Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.

Mercy, Mercy, Me

10-02-2016Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

As I’ve said throughout this Jubilee Year of Mercy, God is using it to strengthen the Church for whatever is to come. Even though we are coming to the last two months of the Jubilee there are still things to do and ways to prepare.

1st Friday MERCY NIGHT: the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit (a new community of Franciscans in our Diocese) will host a Mercy Night for the South Deanery, of which we are a part, at Corpus Christi Parish (3550 E. Knox Rd. Phoenix) on Friday, October 7 at 7pm. Mass, Teachings and Confessions will be available until 10pm. The Franciscan Friars are worth hearing and also great confessors.

At our Leadership Retreat two years ago we identified that one of the biggest challenges many practicing Catholics face is that they are often the only family member still practicing the faith. So the challenge we often face is how to make the case for Christ and the Church to the people closest to us? This ties into the Spiritual Works of Mercy: Counsel the Doubtful/Instruct the Ignorant. In light of that we have invited Tom Peterson founder of Catholics Come Home and Virtue Media to teach us effective strategies to reach out to our families and friends who no longer practice the faith. Tom through his program Catholics Come Home has helped bring more people back to the Church than almost anyone in the US. So mark your calendars for Wednesday October 26 at 7pm for a chance to learn how to become a Catholic Hero of Divine Mercy.

Don’t forget that the Doors of Mercy are still opened and the Jubilee Year Indulgence is available to you or you can apply it to the soul of a deceased person. The Holy Year doors in our Diocese are at the Cathedral of Ss. Simon and Jude in Phoenix and at the Shrine of the Holy Cross in Sedona (worth the trip). To gain the Indulgence (which removes the temporal punishment due to our sins) the conditions are: to walk through the Holy Doors prayerfully with the intention of gaining the Indulgence, recite the Creed, and within a few weeks before or after walking through the Holy Doors receive Holy Communion and go to Confession (an Indulgence does not forgive sin, repentance is needed for that). Of course if you are fortunate enough to go to Rome the Holy Doors are located at the four major basilicas: St. Peter’s, St. Mary Major, St. John Lateran and St. Paul’s Outside the Walls.

As for the sick and the elderly, the Holy Father says, "For them it will be of great help to live their sickness and suffering as an experience of closeness to the Lord who in the mystery of his Passion, death and Resurrection indicates the royal road which gives meaning to pain and loneliness. Living with faith and joyful hope this moment of trial, receiving communion or attending Holy Mass and community prayer, even through the various means of communication, will be for them the means of obtaining the Jubilee Indulgence."

And of course you can also obtain the Jubilee Year Indulgence by performing one of the Spiritual or Corporal Works of Mercy.

Finally we will close the Jubilee Year as we began with 24Hours for the Lord with Eucharistic Adoration on the final weekend of the Holy Year.

Fr. John B.

PS: Next weekend bring your cellphones to Mass! We will be introducing Flocknote that will allow you to receive one text or email from the Parish each week and one from a Ministry or Parish group that you are apart of or interested in. No spam, no advertising just a simple way of keeping in touch with one another.