Home / News & Events

Photo: Felix Carroll

Cardinal Announces World Mercy Congress

Print this story

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Comments

Request more information

The first World Congress on Mercy will open on the third anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II, announced the archbishop of Vienna.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn revealed last week in a press conference that the 1st World Apostolic Congress on Mercy will be held April 2-6, 2008, in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall.

The cardinal said that the opening date of the Congress was chosen purposely to coincide with the anniversary of the death of John Paul II as the call to be "witnesses of mercy" was an essential message of the Pontiff.

The Marians of the Immaculate Conception, who have played a key role in spreading the message and devotion of Divine Mercy throughout the world, have been asked to help organize and promote the Congress. The Marians plan to discuss plans during the live telecast on EWTN of the Divine Mercy Sunday celebration at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass., on April 15.

Organizers say that the World Congress will be modeled after the International Eucharistic Congresses, which have been called every few years since 1881. Clergy and laity around the world will be encouraged to give paramount importance to the spirituality and message and devotion of The Divine Mercy.

"The Congress will concern the whole Church — indeed, the whole world," said Fr. Patrice Chocholski of Lyon, France, the General Secretary of the Congress and the personal representative of Cardinal Christropher Schonborn of Vienna, Austria, in organizing it.

During statements to the press last week, Cardinal Schönborn repeated the words of Pope John Paul II at the consecration of the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Lagiewniki in 2002: "Apart from the mercy of God there is no other source of hope for humanity."

Lagiewniki is where the nun and mystic St. Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938) lived with her congregation. John Paul II canonized the Polish religious April 30, 2000, and announced on the same day that "throughout the world, the second Sunday of Easter will receive the name of Divine Mercy Sunday."

Cardinal Schönborn said: "Many believers took it as a sign the fact that John Paul II died on the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday."

A bridge
The Congress will include keynote speakers on biblical, theological, and pastoral themes; testimonies; apostolic workshops; evening festivals in churches; and liturgical celebrations.

The cardinal said that the Divine Mercy event will also have an interreligious component through the participation of Jews, Muslims and Buddhists: "The congress is to be a bridge to other religions, but also reaching out to agnostics and atheists."

Cardinal Schönborn added that the Church is often criticized for its "doctrinal narrowness" and "moral rigidness." That is why, the cardinal said, the first World Congress on Mercy is intended to give a "very radical encouragement" to rediscover the core of the Gospel, that is to say, mercy.

Father Patrice Chocholski, the secretary-general of the Congress, said that the aim of the event is to spread the message of mercy to the greatest number of people, "because mercy can change the world."

Father Chocholski also reported that many other Christian churches and other religious communities, including representatives of Buddhism and Hinduism, have manifested an interest in the congress.

The priest added that he presented the congress to Patriarch Alexy II of the Russian Orthodox Church, and that he was very enthusiastic.

Cardinal Schönborn said that the idea for the initiative was proposed during the Vienna City Mission in 2000.

The idea for a World Congress on Mercy then matured during a meeting in Lagiewniki in 2004 to promote the spiritual testament of John Paul II, namely the "call to divine mercy."

Material for this article was drawn from Zenit.org.

Request more information

Print this story

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Comments

Be a part of the discussion. Add a comment now!

Bro, James Welch, OFM - Apr 15, 2007

I have always loved the Divine Mercy. I started it when I was stationed in Youngstown,Ohio. I would like to know if religious brothers would be able to attend the confirence?
Happy Feast Day,and may the Risen Christ in whom all Mercy flows be with you always.

Rey Vinole - Apr 15, 2007

Since 2000 Saint Brigids Church in San Diego California has had an all night Divine Mercy Novena with Eucharistic Adoration Friday-Saturday Mercy Sunday week! It is in honor of John Paul 11. With Gods help I hope to build a Divine Mercy Shrine/church in San Diego. Ave Maria, Rey!

Rey Vinole - Apr 15, 2007

Since 2000 Saint Brigids Church in San Diego California has had an all night Divine Mercy Novena with Eucharistic Adoration Friday-Saturday Mercy Sunday week! It is in honor of John Paul 11. With Gods help I hope to build a Divine Mercy Shrine/church in San Diego. Ave Maria, Rey!

Robert R. Allard from DivineMercySunday.com - May 25, 2007

I want to go and tell the world just what a special gift Divine Mercy Sunday is to get Fallen-away Catholics to return to the practice of their faith. It is an evangelization tool.

Sheila Olivieri - May 25, 2007

Divine Mercy has helped me threw many difficult times over the past five years after the death of my husband and coming back to the church after 30 yrs.
I am now a E.A.D.M. and I would like to be able to go to Rome next year. Is there a group forming in the Fort Lauderdale, FL area?

Olga E. Blake, RN - Jun 13, 2007

My trust in Jesus grew stronger this year when as a bus coordinator the pilgrims and I through God's grace travelled to the Divine Mercy Shrine(Stockbridge,MA) on 04/15/07 despite the inclement weather. Our Lord did not complain, nor give up on His way to Calvary; neither did we and we all experienced a strong spiritual bond with Him that day. May we always cling to that TRUST!!!! Happy Feast Day!!!!!

mary -Davao - Jul 22, 2007

we here in davao city were told of this event fortunately some are going but some may not be able even they want to,for financial reason,Divine Mercy here in our place is the strongest devotion,please pray for us to be able to attend.God bless

Kalara Liku - Jul 23, 2007

World Congress on Divine mercy.
I wish to attend this awesome and enriching experience!
God of mercy please falicitate. You are awesome!

Kalara Liku - Jul 23, 2007

Here at the Holy Eucharist Parish, Suva, Fiji, we started the Divine Mercy Devotion in 1996. This year's Divine Mercy Sunday celebration was conducted from the Archdiocesan Cathedral- ist time ever in the history of the Catholic Church in Fiji. A very packed cathedral and the Archbishop of Suva, Archbishop Petero Mataca officiated. Thank you Lord of Mercy. You are the OUTPOURING MERCY and help ua be MRECIFUL and MERCIFLOW!

mary sumalinog - Aug 10, 2007

yes we will go the divine marcy apostolate chapter will be there,pls pray for us.thank you God bless.