Dear Brothers & Sisters,
This Second Sunday of Easter is also known as Divine Mercy Sunday. On the occasion of the canonization of Sister Faustina Kowalska on April of 2000, Saint Pope John Paul II declared that every Second Sunday of Easter would be a day to commemorate the Divine Mercy of Christ. Sister Faustina had many visions of Jesus, and in one of them, he told her that on this Feast of Mercy “all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened.” She recorded this vision and others in her Diary. Jesus also promised that he wants to forgive the souls that go to confession and receive communion. Jesus spoke to Sister Faustina 14 times about his desire to have a feast dedicated to his Divine Mercy. In one occasion Jesus said “I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day, the very depths of my tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My Mercy…Let no soul fear to draw near to me.”
The visions to Sister Faustina began back in 1930, after the terrible First World War and at the early stages of Nazism and Communism. Europe began to lose the understanding of the dignity and sanctity of human life, which led to the worst and bloodiest Century ever. As God and his immense love was being put aside during that time, Jesus chose another woman to be the bearer of good news. Instead of Mary Magdalene proclaiming the resurrection of Christ, Sister Faustina, by the words of John Paul II, “became the herald of the one message capable of off-setting the evil of those ideologies, that fact that God is mercy – the truth of the merciful Christ.
At one point, Sister Faustina, at the request of Jesus, had a painter portray the image of Jesus that she had seen many times. This picture is on the cover of the bulletin. Jesus is wearing a white garment, giving a blessing with his right hand and touching his heart with the left hand. There are two rays coming out form his heart, red and white. They represent his blood and water that were poured out from his heart for the salvation and sanctification of mankind. Jesus wants that image to be venerated all over the world, and he also promises that “the souls that will venerate this image will not perish”, and “by means of this image, [he] will grant many graces to souls.”
I would like to invite everyone to take advantage of this singular moment of grace in the year to come and receive what Christ promised us. On this day, Plenary Indulge is granted for those who come and pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. We will conclude our Novena at 3:00pm this Sunday afternoon. Many times God wants to give us graces, but we need to ask/give permission for him to bestow his graces on us. I also invite you to come to pray for our nation and for the world, so that they also may know the mercy of God and love one another as God loves us.
Here in the parish we will continue to offer other opportunities to grow closer to the Lord. We will start a series of talks for adults and youth on Mondays and Thursdays at 7:30pm starting on April 19th. This is the same series of talks that we began almost a year ago that was interrupted by the lockdown. We are also looking at the possibility of having an evening of songs in honor in the Virgin Mary in May, and to have a celebration of Corpus Christi in June. I ask for your prayers that the Lord may bless us and allow us to bring these ideas into completion and to continue to bring more souls to God. At the same time, we priests are always available for counseling, to pray for your intentions, and to do anything we can to help anyone to grow in holiness. Be assured that we pray for you and your loved ones daily as we also ask for your prayers.
Father Steven Clemence