Ascension of Our Lord will celebrate Mercy Sunday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 13, 1999

By MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / April 13, 1999

LAPLACE – Last Sunday Catholics worldwide celebrated Easter, signifying the dying and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This Sunday the church willcelebrate the mercy of Christ.

Mercy Sunday, the first Sunday after Easter, is one of the major dimensions of the devotion of Divine Mercy, a devotion close to the heart of Pope John Paul II.

In an approved apparition in the 1930s, Christ Himself told Blessed Faustina Kowalska, a nun from the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Poland, “I desire that a Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls and especially for poor sinners. On that day all the divinefloodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to drawnear to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. It is my deserve that it besolemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter.”Ascension of Our Lord Church will celebrate Mercy Sunday with “Day of Grace-Divine Mercy Sunday Parish Mission for Families,” a program developed by the Apostolate for Family Consecration.

“It’s a program designed to bring people back to Jesus and the church,” Debbie Hoffman, financial secretary at Ascension of Our Lord, said.

Ascension is the only church in the Archdiocese of New Orleans to hold the program this year and the first one in two years to host it. The programconsists of five-and-a-half hours of video programming for the whole family, including a feature video, “Time for Mercy,” produced by the Marian Helpers.

Hoffman said the program is the conclusion of the Novena to Divine Mercy the church has been holding since Good Friday. Priests will be on hand forconfessions with those going to confessions that week still receiving those graces.

“No matter how great the sin, Jesus is calling us back to his mercy,” Hoffman said.

The program will start at 1 p.m. at the church. Hoffman said refreshmentswill be provided in the cafeteria. Day care will also be provided forchildren ages 4 and under, but children 5 and up are invited to attend the program.

Hoffman said Ascension has been planning the program for the last month.

Over the last two Sundays, a five-minute presentation has been shown at all masses to help spark interest in it. Another preview will be held atmasses Sunday.

Day of Mercy is just one of a series of programs put out by the Apostolate for Family Consecration, located in Bloomingdale, Ohio. Hoffman said theApostolate provides a manual that spells out everything that is needed to be done with the program.

“We are hoping it will spread,” Hoffman said of the Divine Mercy program.

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