With a renewed commitment to the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, Viatorians celebrated the start of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.Year of Mercy poster

“Pope Francis has called us to ‘be merciful, just as your Father is merciful,’ ” says Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, provincial. “The corporal and spiritual works of mercy offer us tangible ways of being merciful and of extending God’s compassion to those in need.”

Viatorians hope to highlight one of the works of mercy, each month, Fr. von Behren added.

Viatorian parishes are interpreting the jubilee year in their own way. At St George Church in Bourbonnais, parishioners formed a committee to create new service projects each month, as well as prayer services.

Year of Mercy logoPope Francis announced the extraordinary year in March, during a penitential service at St. Peter’s Basilica.

“I am convinced that the whole Church — which has much need to receive mercy, because we are sinners — will find in this jubilee the joy to rediscover and render fruitful the mercy of God,” Pope Francis said, “with which we are all called to give consolation to every man and woman of our time.”

The start of the jubilee year falls on the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council, which is not a coincidence.Pope Francis World Day of Peace 2014

At the morning Mass in the Province Center chapel, celebrating the feast of the Immaculate Conception, Fr. John Milton, CSV, drew together the various elements of the momentous day.

“In our own way, each of us can help keep the spirit of Vatican II alive,” Fr. Milton said. “In our own way, each us can echo Mary’s ‘yes’ to make Jesus a living presence in our personal corner of the world.”