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April: Jubilee of Freedom and Mercy

1 April 2012- Dagupan City. “This jubilee year is a year for remembering and beholding the greatness of the Lord. Indeed, every year, month and day since we were made a diocese is an epiphany of his goodness and bounty. Our thoughts return to the crib where the mother and her child were visited by the wise men: ‘They came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Opening their treasures, they offered to him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Mt.2:11).’” (Archbishop Soc, Golden Year, Golden Offering, 14 February 2012).

The month of April (2012) is the JUBLEE of FREEDOM and MERCY. It is a celebration of God’s saving power and liberating mercy! As we enter Holy Week (1-7 April 2012) and proclaim the glorious resurrection of Jesus during Easter, we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday after Easter. Nourished by the unfathomable mercy of God through the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation, we bring the good news of God’s Mercy to the prisoners and those enslaved by addictions.

Proclaiming Freedom through Works of Mercy

‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Mt. 25, 34-40).

Together with the Ministry of Social Action (MISA), the works of mercy are celebrated once again following the parable of the kingdom by our Lord.

The Jubilee Celebration

The Month long Celebration shall have the following:

1. “Kumpisalan ng Bayan”. A celebration of God’s Mercy through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Sacrament of Mercy. The individual parishes shall hold communal celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Vicariate Clergy will help in the hearing of confessions.

2. “Regalo na Panangasi.” A Celebration of Freedom and Mercy through the sharing of our material resources to the prisoners. We encourage our parishioners to share from their own wants what the prisoners need: slippers and shoes, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, mats, clothes, rice, etc). It is a celebration of one of the works of mercy (to visit the imprisoned) and a proclamation of our own freedom from selfishness to generosity.

3. Divine Mercy Sunday. Proclaimed by the Blessed Pope John Paul II, the Mercy Pope, as a feast for the universal church, it is celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. The celebration of the feast has the following components:

· Novena to the Divine Mercy which will start on Good Friday.

· Celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, on or before the Feast of Divine Mercy.

· Celebration of the Eucharist and reception of Holy Communion, a homily on the Divine Mercy.

· Veneration of the Image of the Divine Mercy, which includes the blessing of the sacred image.

· Acts of Mercy.

4. Jail Visitation. The parishes are encouraged to form Prison Apostolate. Through the Ministry of Social Action, the Regalo na Panangasi will be given to the prisoners. The visit shall include Confessions and Mass, Veneration and Blessing of the Images of Divine Mercy. The Correctional Facilities to be visited are those in Bonuan, San Carlos and Lingayen, as well as the smaller facilities in the municipality.

5. “Freedom from Political Ignorance and Abuses: An Archdiocesan celebration on Good Governance. (Details will be communicated later).

SCHEDULE

1-7 April, Celebrating the Liberating Mercy of God: Kumpisalan ng Bayan

Holy Monday to Holy Wednesday

1-13 April, “Regalo na Panangasi

A Campaign to ask for donations for the prisoners (mats, shoes and slippers, soap, clothes, medicines, etc.)

8 April, Easter Sunday

6 April, Good Friday, 3 PM: Start of the Novena to the Divine Mercy

6-14 April, Novena to the Divine Mercy

13 April, Easter Friday: Jail Visitations (Bonuan, Lingayen, San Carlos): Confessions, Mass, Veneration and Blessing of the Images of Divine Mercy, Acts of Mercy. Giving of the “Regalo na Panangasi” from the parishes.

15 April, Divine Mercy Sunday

Celebration in the Parishes: Confessions, Mass, Veneration and Blessings of Images of Divine Mercy, Act of Mercy.

21 April, Saturday: Freedom for Good Governance

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