My parish’s Liturgy Commission is preparing the fourth in a (hopefully) continuing series of events inspired by the Jubilee of Mercy and Pope Francis’s call in Misericordia et Misera 18:
Now is the time to unleash the creativity of mercy, to bring about new undertakings, the fruit of grace.
I think we have a potentially fruitful effort that combines parishioners driving the mercy agenda from their own experiences, with contributions from parish ministries in music, lectors, hospitality, and others.
While my colleagues have set up two parish missions for the coming year, I have a sense that these events, even the ones with excellent speakers, struggle to lift most modern parishes to a new level. My boss even related a conversation in which she asked out loud what difference they have made in the daily life of the faith community. The last parish mission found good attendance–about three to four hundred. Is that all there is?
Even as I find myself in agreement with asking questions like that, I also have to examine my own spiritual life. Does my annual retreat make a difference? Or is it okay to go away for a week and just get refreshed? No big agenda tackled, no big obstacle overcome? Maybe parish missions serve the same purpose. What exp-erience, if any, do you readers have?
Anyway, the continuing mercy events will supplement the times when the pros come to town and offer their message. Who knows, maybe we’ve latched onto something useful? Given the poster above, I bet you can guess which of the three John Paul II stations we’ll adapt for a deeper reflection next month.