The New Evangelization's Next Stop
Join Us for the Second World Mercy Congress, Set for October
With a zeal to bring the message of mercy into the daily life of the Church and the world, thousands of people from around the world are making plans to attend the second World Apostolic Congress on Mercy in Krakow, Poland, on Oct. 1-5.
And you, too, are invited.
The Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception organized a pilgrimage
to the Congress. The pilgrimage is now closed.
If you cannot attend the pilgrimage, you can register for just the Congress by visiting the official World Apostolic Congress on Mercy website.
The Congress follows in the heels of the historic first World Apostolic Congress on Mercy held in Rome, Italy, in April 2008, an event called for by Pope Benedict XVI to perpetuate the work of Blessed John Paul II, the Great Mercy Pope.
"Mercy as the Source of Hope" is the theme for the Congress, which will include testimonies, lectures, street celebrations, Holy Masses, missions, and a day trip to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. A Church congress is a Vatican-approved gathering focusing on a central mystery of the faith. This Congress is being convened because we live in a time when the message of Christ's mercy needs to be heard loud and clear.
Appropriately, the venue is the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Lagiewniki, on the grounds of the convent where in the 1930s St. Faustina received many of her revelations. Her revelations, as recorded in her Diary, have sparked a worldwide missionary front in the name of Jesus, The Divine Mercy.
The venue serves to underscore the critical role the message of The Divine Mercy now has in the Universal Church.
"We believe that the Divine Mercy is the keyword, the paradigm for a new evangelization. It will be the light guiding humankind of the third millennium," said Fr. Patrice Chocholski of Lyon, France, general secretary of the Congress.
At the conclusion of the first Congress, our Holy Father encouraged pilgrims to return home to sure up an apostolic beachhead in which the zeal of the Mercy Congress could take root and flourish.
"Go to the world and be witnesses of Divine Mercy," Pope Benedict XVI urged participants.
Bridging the two World Congresses were national Congresses held throughout the world, including the North American Congress on Mercy, in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 14-15, 2009.
The beatification on May 1 — Divine Mercy Sunday — of John Paul II, provides the perfect lead-in to the Mercy Congress this October. In his writings and homilies, Pope John Paul II described Divine Mercy as the answer to the world's problems and the message of the third millennium.
In 1997 he visited then-Blessed Faustina's tomb in Lagiewniki and proclaimed: "There is nothing that man needs more than Divine Mercy. ... From here went out the message of Mercy that Christ Himself chose to pass on to our generation through Blessed Faustina."
"We're continuing Blessed John Paul II's legacy," said the Rev. Matthew R. Mauriello, a member of the International Executive Committee representing North America for the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy. "As John Paul II often told us, 'Be not afraid.' He inspired us to approach the merciful Heart of the Lord, learn about His love for us and be people who bring mercy to others through the spiritual and corporal works of mercy."
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow and longtime aide to Pope John Paul II, will host the Mercy Congress. Among the many cardinals and bishops who will participate will be Cardinal Christopher Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, who served as master of ceremonies for the World Congress in Rome.
"The Congress will help people come to know God as a God of mercy who can cure us from our brokenness, our sinfulness and our fears," said Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, the Marians' director of Evangelization and Development and the vice-president of the North American Mercy Congress. "We will share how He wants us to do the same for each other — to carry each others' crosses — in a world in desperate need of His profound gift of mercy."
The Marians' Mercy Congress pilgrimage will run from Sept. 25-Oct. 6 and include a trip to Czestochowa; St. Faustina's birthplace and parish; the Auschwitz concentration camps; Pope John Paul II's birthplace; then into Krakow for the five-day Mercy Congress. The pilgrimage will be led by Fr. Matthew; Fr. Kazimierz, MIC; Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, a world-renowned expert on Divine Mercy; and Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, director of the Association of Marian Helpers.
"I encourage as many devotees of the mercy of the Lord Jesus to consider joining us for this spiritually uplifting event in Poland," said Fr. Matthew.
The Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception have organized a pilgrimage to the Congress. We are now taking registrations.