DIRECTIVE ANNOUNCING THE CHURCHES OF MERCY FOR THE SEASON OF LENT IN THE JUBILEE OF MERCY
My dearly beloved Clergy, Religious and faithful People of God in the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra, may the Mercy of God the Father…be with you all.
In his Bull of Indiction for the Jubilee of Mercy (MV 17), our Holy Father Pope Francis gives the following directives that “The season of Lent during this Jubilee Year should also be lived more intensely as a privileged moment to celebrate and experience God’s mercy. How many pages of Sacred Scripture are appropriate for meditation during the weeks of Lent to help us rediscover the merciful face of the Father!”
In consultation with the Council of Priests, I bring to your attention the following designated as “Churches of Mercy” for the season of Lent in our Archdiocese. May I indicate that the “Churches of Mercy” and the Places of Pilgrimage already designated Archdiocesan Jubilee of Mercy Shrines (here-below) carry with them the Indulgences graciously granted by the Holy Father for pilgrims (see MV 22)
- They are the Holy Spirit Cathedral and its Holy Door as well as the following Marian Grottoes:
- Christ the King Parish, Switchback Road, Cantonments
- St. Margaret Mary Parish, Dansoman
- Our Lady of Assumption Parish, New Achimota
- St. John the Evangelist Parish, Adentan
- St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Tema Community 8
- Asutsuare Mountains Pilgrimage Place
- Churches of Mercy: The “Churches of Mercy” are to be places where priests would be available for a majority time of the day, especially at hours of the day accessible to workers for the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation; the Sacrament of Mercy. The location of these Churches should enable the People of God avail themselves more easily for Confessions and other penitential and Lenten programmes in between office hours.
The “Churches of Mercy” for this season of Lent include the following:
Holy Spirit Cathedral, Adabraka
Christ the King, Cantonments
Divine Mercy, Okponglo
St. Margaret Mary, Dansoman
Sacred Heart, Derby Avenue
Ss. Peter and Paul, New Aplaku
St. Theresa, Kaneshie
Our Lady of Assumption, New Achimota
St. Paul’s Catholic Seminary, Sowutuom
Queen of Peace, Madina
St. John the Evangelist, Adentan
St. Agnes, Dodowa
St. Kizito, Nima
St. Sylvanus, Pokuase
St. Paul, Kpehe
St. Thomas Aquinas, Legon
St. Joseph the Worker, Comm. 8
Our Lady of Mercy, Comm. 1
St. Augustine, Ashaiman
St. Mary, Koluedor
St. John Vianney, Asutsuare
St. Maria Goretti, Battor
St. Peter Claver, Ada Foah
Archbishop Andoh Catechetical Centre, Kordiabeh
- Some Suggestions: Besides the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (Confessions) at the “Churches of Mercy”, other liturgical and para-liturgical services, i.e., “Hour of Grace”; Divine Mercy Chaplet and Devotion, Stations of the Cross, Community Prayer of the Holy Rosary, etc., should be encouraged during this Lenten Season. It is suggested that in each deanery a roster of Confessors be drawn up to enable the faithful know when the Confessors and “Missionaries of Mercy” are available at the “Churches of Mercy” and also to guide the Faithful as to where to visit for Confessions in the course of the week.
According to Pope Francis, “…the Missionaries of Mercy will be a sign of the Church’s maternal solicitude for the People of God, enabling them to enter the profound richness of this mystery so fundamental to the faith. They will be, above all, living signs of the Father’s readiness to welcome those in search of his pardon. They will be facilitators of a truly human encounter, a source of liberation, rich with responsibility for overcoming obstacles and taking up the new life of Baptism again. … Everyone, in fact, without exception, is called to embrace the call to mercy” (MV. 18).
- Concluding, the Holy Father writes: “May pastors, especially during the liturgical seasons of this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, be diligent in calling back the faithful ‘to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace’ (Heb 4:16)” (MV 18).
“May the message of mercy reach every one, and may no one be indifferent in our Archdiocese to the call to experience mercy” (MV 19). Finally, “in this Jubilee Year, let us allow God to surprise us. He never tires of casting open the doors of his heart and of repeating that he loves us and wants to share his love with us” (MV 25).
May Mary, the Immaculate Conceived, the Mother of Mercy and Refuge of Sinners, who at the foot of the Cross of Christ received us sinful men and women for her children in the faith, continue to intercede for each and every one of us!
Most Rev. Charles G. PALMER-BUCKLE,
Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra.
On the First Sunday of Lent,
Sunday, February 14, 2016.