As we have already heard our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has declared a Year of Mercy in the Church, a year set to begin on December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Mother. Dioceses are planning ways that their parishes and people will be able to prayerfully enter into the Year. The World desperately needs to know and understand the meaning of the Gift of God’s Mercy. One of the ways our local parish is preparing is by asking the parishioners to consider buying a copy of a wonderful book, The Church of Mercy by Pope Francis – a Vision for the Church published by Loyola Press. The book will serve later in the Year as material for small group discussions in the parish.
It is a book for busy people! I have been reading the book a little bit at a time and it is wonderful. There are 10 parts with 39 short chapters containing talks and homilies given by Pope Francis since he became our Holy Father in 2013. If you want to get to know Pope Francis I would encourage you to buy the book, especially before he comes to the United States at the end of September! (see Amazon.com or the website for Loyola Press)
Here is a link to the first chapter in the book. It is the Holy Father’s homily for the Mass for the Possession of the Chair of the Bishop of Rome, April 7, 2013. It is copied from the Vatican website. http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/homilies/2013/documents/papa-francesco_20130407_omelia-possesso-cattedra-laterano.html
May your reading be blessed and fruitful.