The Way of Mercy is a diocesan-wide initiative of the Pastoral Planning Office in cooperation with the Year of Mercy Committee, centred upon the journey of a large cross of mercy. Where possible, the Cross will be accompanied by a relic of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and a letter penned by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. It commences on 8 August and concludes with the closing of the Holy Doors at the Cathedral on 13 November. The Cross will be hosted at locations across the diocese by local communities, with celebrations including procession, prayer, veneration, music, testimonial and a sending forth. Parishes, ethnic groups, schools and religious institutes and Catholic movements in each region will be invited to attend the local visit of the Cross.
All communities will also be encouraged to participate in catechesis both in the lead up to the event and after the event. All communities will be invited to consider one Face of Mercy (ie pastoral work of mercy) they can share at the local hosting of the Cross, and will be sent forth to enhance their existing Face of Mercy or to create a new way of living mercy.
How will we engage in the Way of Mercy?
Each community is kindly asked to:
- Nominate two Mercy Representatives who will help animate and link people to the Way of Mercy from your local community. They will receive follow up material and support.
- Offer an Expression of Interest if you would like to Host the Cross (parishes only). While every community will be involved in preparing to gather with the Cross in the local area, a community will be required to host the visit in each region.
- List some of the areas of giftedness and support your community can offer in your region (eg music, dance, hospitality, testimonial). Communities are encouraged to contribute their gifts, to make your local celebration a true engagement of all in your local region.
- Identify a Face of Mercy you offer to wider society in and through your community
- Nominate people for:
- The Travelling Mercy Team: accompanying the Cross during its journey, providing logistical and prayerful support.
- The Way of Mercy Catechesis and Support Team: offering catechesis and general support to communities seeking formation during the period of the Way of Mercy.
Each parish and ethnic community has been sent information pertaining to the Way of Mercy and we are following up to support communities in appointing Mercy Representatives.
Please join with me in praying that this Way of Mercy will be a grace-filled opportunity for the people of our diocese and those we seek to call into the fullness of the life Jesus offers.