December 18, 2015

Booklet on Holy Year of Mercy is available on archdiocesan website

By Sean Gallagher

The Church’s Holy Year of Mercy, which began on Dec. 8 and will conclude on Nov. 20, 2016, is intended by Pope Francis to be a time for Catholics around the world to learn more about God’s mercy, appreciate it more in their own lives, and share it with others.

To help further that goal for Catholics in central and southern Indiana, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis has made available a booklet on the holy year at The website has several other resources available and will be updated throughout the year.

The booklet was originally developed by the Diocese of Superior, Wis. It has been adapted for use in the archdiocese by Ken Ogorek, director of catechesis, and Gabriela Carrero, coordinator of catechetical resources.

It includes a calendar of events connected to the holy year, information on the holy year and the plenary indulgences instituted by Pope Francis for it, the devotion to Divine Mercy, how the Eucharist embodies God’s mercy, the Blessed Virgin Mary’s connection to mercy, and the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

Carrero said that individual sections of the booklet can be helpful in parish catechetical and youth ministry programs, as well as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. The sections, she said, are a good way “to take the Year of Mercy home with you.”

Carrero appreciated the way the booklet reflects on how Catholics experience God’s mercy each time they participate in the Mass.

“It’s a way to remind us in this year that mercy isn’t a new thing,” she said. “It’s a way for us to open our eyes and dive into the richness of mercy that the Church already offers us, to receive that and be more open to that.”

Looking at the booklet as a whole, Carrero appreciates how it can help its readers both learn about mercy and consider it in prayer.

“I like how this booklet is, at once, informational, catechetical, but also a tool for prayer and reflection,” she said. “It kind of covers all those bases.”

Ogorek noted that the booklet can help Catholics in the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy gain a true understanding of God’s mercy.

“Mercy is one of those concepts that can get hijacked, miscommunicated and misapplied,” he said. “I think this booklet faithfully and authentically communicates the beauty of mercy to the faithful.”

Ogorek also noted how the booklet can help its readers come to a greater understanding of how mercy is a two-way street.

“The Jubilee of Mercy, to me, is about both showing mercy to others and appreciating how important mercy is for ourselves,” he said. “So, my hope would be that this booklet would help people do both of those things.” †

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