The following letter has been sent out this week from Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization:
As you are aware, the Holy Father has charged the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization with organizing the upcoming Extraordinary Holy Year, the Jubilee of Mercy, which Pope Francis hopes will be an opportunity for Christians to reflect on and live out more faithfully our Lord’s command: “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”
While it is ther Holy Father’s wish that the upcoming Jubilee be celebrated not just in Rome but in each particular Church, Pope Francis has at the same time approved a calendar of major celebrations in Rome which are universal in nature and which will be characterized by his presence. These celebrations will provide special opportunities for pilgrims from around the world to make a spiritual journey to Rome.
One of these major events will be the Jubilee for Deacons. This gathering of deacons from around the world—along with their wives and children—will be held in Rome from Friday May 27 to Sunday May 29, 2016. I am certain that such a global convocation of deacons, men who by their vocation and ministry are closely associated with works of charity in the life of the Christian community, will serve to give witness to all that “mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life” (Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus).
I would like to take this opportunity to personally invite you to join with our Holy Father in the upcoming Jubilee of Deacons. The program for this gathering, along with all the information pertaining to registration, may be found on the official website of the Jubilee of Mercy, which is www.im.va. (Just click here ).
I wish to extend to you and your families by prayerful best wishes, as I look forward to having the opportunity to welcome you personally to the Eternal City.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
+ Rino Fisichella
Friday, May 27, 2016: Beginning at 5:00 pm, deacons and wives will be organized by language (English, Italian and Spanish) for a series of presentations at the seven churches of St. Lawrence. A keynote address will be presented on the subject, “Deacon – Icon of Mercy of the New Evangelization.” Three additional presentations will discuss application of the Deacon as the Icon of Mercy “- In the Family,” “- In the Parish,” and “- In the Workplace.”
Saturday, May 28, 2016: Starting at 8:00 am and ending at 5:00 pm, there will be opportunities for Eucharistic adoration, reconciliation and tours of the seven churches of St Lawrence as personal pilgrimages. At 6:00 pm, pilgrims will walk through the Holy Doors at St. Peter’s Basilica to hear official catechesis on the subject: “The Deacon: Called to the Service of Charity in the life of the Community.”
Sunday, May 29, 2016: 10:00 am. Holy Mass will be celebrated in St. Peter’s Square with Pope Francis. Deacons will be seated to the front.
There is no registration cost to attend the Jubilee for Deacons, but participants will be required to register in advance. More information about registration will be shared as it becomes available.
The National Association of Diaconate Directors (NADD) notes:
All flights, ground transportation, hotels, and meals are the responsibility of the attendee. Pilgrimage tours are being organized by travel firms that have supported NADD over the past several years as convention exhibitors and sponsors. Please contact one of these preferred tour operators for information and help planning your trip:
Jim Adair; The Catholic Tour, 877-627-4268
EO Catholic Tours; Deacon Ray Defendorf; 607-426-1100
Proximo Travel; Deacon Joseph Bland; 502-321-4591
HolyLand Travel Center; Issa Qumsieh; 505-217-9460
Each firm offers opportunities for deacons to travel free of charge as “hosts” with sufficient numbers of persons in their group. The Jubilee for Deacons welcomes parishioners, so there is potential to gather a sufficient number of people to travel at no cost.
Check out this link from NADD for more. And I’ll see you in Rome!