Pope Francis declares 2016 “Year of Mercy”

by Joseph Gutbrod ‘17

Pope Francis declared 2016 to be a Jubilee Year of Mercy and invites Catholics to follow the ideals of mercy and compassion. The Jubilee year will begin on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th, 2015, and will run until the solemnity of Christ the King on November 20, 2016.

The idea to incorporate the Year of Mercy as a main theme of the school year was raised by Principal Bradesca. Following the Vatican’s lead, he requested that a banner be made to be used during all of the school masses throughout the year. Along with this banner, the ongoing theme “Merciful like the Father” will be integrated into the student body. Principal Bradesca is calling upon the students and faculty to organize activities that exemplify the theme, “Merciful like the Father.”

Many service organizations affiliated with Christian Action Team and Arrupe will be applying the theme into service initiatives throughout the St. Ignatius community. According to the director of the Arrupe Neighborhood Partnership program, Mr. John Gill ‘97, “The Year of Mercy is another attempt to remain with the Catholic reflection and apply it to service in a way Ignatius men have not experienced.” He mentions that after the completion of the Arrupe service programs, students will reflect upon how they showed and received mercy through their actions. Christian Action Team and Arrupe plan to implement prayer and reflection during after school programs as well as CAT meetings.

Coordinator of Volunteers and Programs at the Arrupe House, Mr. Patrick Valletta ‘05, calls upon the students to ask questions and to think about how the ideals of the Year of Mercy can be applied to their different service programs. The Year of Mercy is truly an opportunity for the St. Ignatius community to focus on being agents of mercy by concentrating on how we interact with one another as well as the greater community.