Monday, 11th December 2017

Jubilee of Mercy Conference

Posted on 19. Nov, 2016 in Carousel

Left to right: Fr Paul Finnerty (Vice Rector), Fr Thomas Norris (Spiritual Director), Archbishop Rino Fisichella (President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation), Fr Hugh Clifford (Director of Formation), Mons. Ciarán O'Carroll (Rector).

Left to right: Fr Paul Finnerty (Vice Rector), Fr Thomas Norris (Spiritual Director), Archbishop Rino Fisichella (President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation), Fr Hugh Clifford (Director of Formation), Mons. Ciarán O’Carroll (Rector).

To mark the conclusion of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Pontifical Irish College Rome held a special Jubilee of Mercy Conference on Friday and Saturday, 18th and 19th November 2016. The formation staff worked collaboratively to organise the conference, and had great assistance from the seminarian community, postgraduate priest student community, and the College staff.

Friday evening’s proceedings were chaired by the Ambassador of Ireland to the Holy See, H.E. Emma Madigan. The speaker was Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation. He spoke from a unique vantage point as the person tasked by Pope Francis with overseeing the organisation of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. The title of Archbishop Fisichella’s talk was ‘Mercy: the heart of the Church’s life’. In his talk, the Archbishop traced the meaning of the word ‘mercy’, and gave insights into Pope Francis’s thinking in calling an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. He spoke of his experiences alongside the Pope during the Jubilee Year. He spoke of the need for mercy to be a strong element in the Church’s vocabulary and life.

On Saturday morning, the proceedings were chaired by Sr Rosarii O’Connor SMG, of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God at the Spanish Steps, and the speakers were Fr Roberto Cherubini of the Community of Sant’Egidio and Dr Mary McCaughey, a theologian. Dr McCaughey’s talk was entitled ‘Mercy and our understanding of God’. She spoke about our image of God, the relationship between God’s mercy and his justice, God in himself and God giving himself to us, and the role of the Holy Spirit in helping us to be people of mercy. Drawing on the work of major theologians and the Church Magisterium, she developed the theological aspects of our view of God’s mercy and human mercy. Fr Cherubini’s talk was entitled ‘The street as our teacher: learning the language of mercy from the poor’. He spoke about living a life of mercy towards the poor, and illustrated his reflections with anecdotes from his experience caring for the poor on the streets of Rome.

Lively question and answer sessions took place on both Friday evening and Saturday morning as participants and speakers teased out some of the issues raised about receiving God’s mercy and living a merciful life.

Fr Thomas Norris, the College’s Spiritual Director, was the principal celebrant for the Mass on Saturday. His homily continued the reflection on the theme of mercy, in the light of the focus on eternal life of the day’s Gospel reading.

All the participants shared in a buffet lunch after Mass, at the end of which Sr Thérèse of the Missionaries of Charity gave a reflection on mercy, drawing on the life and words of Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta and her own experiences as a Missionary of Charity.

To view photographs of the conference, click here.

For the talk given by Fr Roberto Cherubini on Saturday morning, ‘The street as our teacher: Learning the language of mercy from the poor’, click here

For the talk given by Sr Thérèse Magdala of the Missionaries of Charity after lunch on Saturday, ‘Mother Teresa – becoming mercy’, click here.