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Showing posts from December, 2015

Mercy Moments: Fr. Bob Jalbert remembers that the gift of presence is the gift of mercy

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In announcing a Jubilee Year of Mercy to be celebrated between Dec. 8, 2015 and Nov. 20, 2016, Pope Francis invites us to be “dedicated to living out in our daily lives the mercy which the Father constantly extends to all of us.”

I recall a powerful “mercy moment” I experienced while serving in the informal settlement of Soweto in Nairobi, Kenya. It was during a time of severe famine. Our supply of donated food had long ago run out, but people kept coming to our door looking for assistance. I reached the point where it became so painful for me to repeatedly tell people that I had no food for them that I decided I had no choice but to shut down completely my ability to feel.

Elizabeth, a woman in the settlement, changed all that when she came to me and said, “Father, we understand that you can’t solve all our problems. We just want you to be with us and to be yourself.” In her acceptance of me, just as I was, Elizabeth not only helped me understand my role as a missioner but helped me …

Mercy Moment: When you laugh, you get a glimpse of God

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In this Jubilee Year, let us allow God to surprise us. – Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus

I was frustrated, sweating, and tired. It had been a long day, and each of us teachers were told to teach our students a skit, dance, or other performance for the upcoming graduation ceremony.

The students had been extra squirrely during class, and they had only gotten worse since heading into the field to practice. Looking back now, I can’t blame them – after a full day of school, instead of recess they were now standing outside in the hot sun, still needing to pay attention to the teacher.

But in the moment, I was fed up; “Why can’t they just focus? This is important!” I muttered to myself. I had to shout to be heard over the roar of a passing motorcycle, “Ok, be serious now! Get to work and show me what you remember!”

I pushed play for the song they had voted for, Shakira’s “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa),” originally written for the World Cup in South Africa, now being danced to by 60 5t…

Pope Francis responds to Maryknoll Essay Contests entries from students about going forth to make noise

How cool is this?  Prior to Pope Francis's visit to the U.S. our Maryknoll Magazine Editor Marge Gaughen sent him the student entries to our Essay Contest.  Here is his response: