Thursday, December 30, 2010

Divine Mercy Mission in Cameroon

The Marians established the first mission in Africa in 1984. first in Rwanda, and then in Cameroon. Presently there are 10 missionaries serving in both countries. They provide pastoral and social ministry in their parish and also educational service to the youth and children. They serve also spiritual and charismatic ministry.

Character of the Marian Mission
The Marian mission in Rwanda has been placed within a specific social, cultural, and political environment.
Before the war they were creating the Church trough organizing chapels and schools.  During the war they assisted the refugees through their ministry in the refuge’s camps and after the war they undertook the ministry of reconciliation for traumatized ands wounded people helping them to find peace, forgiveness, and sense of life.

Their mission in Cameroon can be described as assistance in restoring back to life both the people and structures. Through repairing old ruined buildings and making new constructions, they have restored to the mission its old splendor and functionality. They proclaim hope to fallen people, educate them, set free from fear and poverty, and lead them to a dignified way of life.

Calling for Mercy
This is how they could name their African Missions since the theological basis of their mission is proclaiming and practicing mercy. They undertook this challenge in Cameroon starting with creating communities of Divine Mercy. They now have 25 communities, which recite the Divine Mercy Chaplet and get involved in helping the poor. In Aril 2004 the Bishop established the Shrine of the Divine Mercy, the only such shrine in Cameroon, and entrusted it to the Marians.

Shrine’s and Apostolate’s activities
They organized a large pilgrimage for the Feast of the Divine Mercy. In 2004, one thousand people participated in a walking pilgrimage to the Shrine. In 2005, the number was greater.

In the Shrine they hold retreats, days of retreats, and sessions for all groups and movements.  They assist the poor, the sick (especially people with AIDS).  They create for the young people the “foyer” – a formation center where they can learn and trade and receive a basic formation necessary for independent life.  They have also organized a group of animators or leaders with whom they spread the Divine Mercy message and spirituality through the entire diocese.

Following St. Faustina’s example to be an “Apostle of the Divine Mercy”, and in the spirit of the Lord’s commandment given to Faustina (Diary, 1588): “ In the Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to my people. Today I am sending you with my Mercy to the people of the whole world”, they visited 20 parish in their diocese with Divine Mercy Animation – conferences, singing, celebration, as well as a theatrical performance.

They also try to root the Divine Mercy message into the hearts and minds of the Africans through using their culture and customs; and they try to improve their custom by offering them the victory of love and mercy over vengeance and hatred. 

They translate prayers and songs into local dialects. Also, they use the African art to bring closer to people the Merciful Christ and The Divine Mercy.  In particular, they also help families. African family is in great need of The Divine Mercy. The majority of families live outside any kind of wedding bonds: neither traditional, nor legal, nor religious; they often maintain polygamy. Such bad heathen habits deprive (divest) women of all dignity and condemn children to poverty.

Apart from the pastoral and spiritual activity, the calling for the Mercy includes social works: for example development of the formation center where they provide assistance for the poor and the sick.  They assist the handicapped and suffering people by providing them with wheelchairs, tools for trade, and by teaching them to be independent.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mankind will not have Peace until it turns with Trust to My Mercy

God told St. Faustina that
“Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy.” (Diary, p.300)

In the Divine Mercy, God receives and quenches human vengeance in Jesus’ own wounded Heart. In this Heart, which is an abyss of love, mercy overcomes hatred. Mercy brings healing that is impossible on a merely human level. Divine Mercy can restore hope, because it flows from the heart of the Risen Christ who, once and for all, has vanquished the finality of death. The deep truth that faith teaches is that only in the context of mercy -- God’s mercy and our own forgiveness and mercy -- can we, as wounded human men and women, find healing and hope. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Mt 5:7).

A prayer of reparation
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy, which God gave to the world through St. Faustina, is a beautiful prayer that has a powerful efficacy to repair the hurt wrought by sin. As we respond to God’s call to continuing conversion, the invocations of the Chaplet may be offered as a litany of reparation. With our hearts turned to the Father, we use the Chaplet to profess and invoke God’s mercy accomplished in Christ’s sorrowful Passion. We unite ourselves with the sacrifice of His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

When human efforts seem futile and human solutions leave us empty, we pray the Chaplet to beg for a new beginning: the healing of the damage done by our sins and those of others. Our plea for mercy will not fail to reach the Father.

Christ’s execution and the gift of Divine Mercy
The Church’s annual novena to the Divine Mercy begins on Good Friday, the day of the execution of Jesus. The hour of mercy is the hour of His saving sacrifice. This is when blood and water gushed out for our salvation. “On the cross, the fountain of My mercy was opened by the lance for all souls -- no one have I excluded.” (Diary, p.1182) This is the moment that shook the world and stirred the faith of the pagan centurion to say, “Truly, this was the Son of God.” (Mt 27:54)

As we seek a reason to put aside the practice of the death penalty, perhaps the best motive is our desire to imitate God in His mercy toward those for whom Jesus died. Mary, Mother of mercy, pray for us and teach us to show mercy to others.

Above extracts from an article by Most Rev. Robert W. Finn who has been bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph (Missouri) since 2005. A former chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Task Force on the Life and Dignity of the Human Person, he is currently a consultant to the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities. The accompanying article is a component of the 2010-2011 Respect Life Program of the USCCB’s Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Helping Jesus to save Souls, Spread the Divine Mercy...

In this coming year, perhaps we can think of more ways to spread the Divine Mercy devotion and help people come to know the great plenary indulgence given to all of us on the Feast of Divine Mercy which in this coming year will be celebrated in Our Lady's Month on the 1st May. 

*Can we pray the Chaplet of Mercy in our local Church, our home or with a mutual friend for our Parish and our Priests.
*Can we donate a Divine Mercy Image to our Parish Church
*Can we get small Divine Mercy prayer cards and give them to members of our family, our friends or others for the New Year.
*Can we get some Divine Mercy prayer books, leaflets, prayer cards to leave in our Churches with the Parish Priests permission.
*Can we start a Divine Mercy holy hour in our local Church
*Can we do some work for the poor, the homeless, those who are lost, abandoned, depressed, those who are sick and help them come to know the love of Christ and His Mercy.
*Can we pray for the dead, for the dying as Jesus has asked.
*Can we encourage others gently to go to Confession and we ourselves go more regularly.
*Pray the Chaplet of Mercy for our Priests that they may come to know the great Mercy of God in their lives.
*Can we begin to promote the Divine Mercy Feast Day in our Churches and Parishes and make a greater effort in preparations for this wonderful and blessed Day. 
*Can we pray with and for children and young people and help them come to know the great Mercy and kindness of Jesus