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THE PLAN OF ACTION IN THE YEAR OF MERCY

The Team appointed by Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrão has come out with a PLAN OF ACTION for the Year of Mercy and in particular for the season of Lent in the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman.

 

1. Clarification regarding the DOOR of Mercy:

In the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, the Archbishop has officially opened only one Door and that is the Door of the Cathedral Church, Old Goa. All the priviledges that can be obtained by entering the Door of Mercy are reserved to the Door of the Cathedral Church. This priviledged Door is the side Door on the left side, if one faces the Cathedral Church. 

The Archbishop, has also designated four other Churches in the Archdiocese inorder to obtain the indulgences, to go on pilgrimages and to recite prayers.  (See Gonvllik Chitt No. 15). These are St. Jerome’s Church, Mapusa; Holy Spirit Church, Margão; Mother of the Poor Church, Tilamola and Holy Name Church, Praça, Daman.  In all these four Churches, the priviledge of entering through a special Door is not conceded, but one may enter through any Door to avail oneself of all the priviledges without procuring to enter through any special Door. 

2. The Availability of Confessors during the Year of Mercy:

In this Archdiocese, the Sacrament of Penance is regularly available in the following Churches/Monasteries and Religious Institutions:

North Goa    -   Carmelite Seminary,  Peddem - Mapusa

Central Goa  -  Bom Jesus Basilica, Old Goa.

                    -  Our Lady of Fatima Church, Panjim (Don Bosco).

                    -  Pilar Monastery, Pilar.

                    -  Holy Cross Church, Bambolim.

South Goa    -  Carmelite Monastery, Aquem - Margao

                    -  Padre Pio Friary, Modi - Navelim

                    -  Shanti Niwas (OFM cap)  -  Voddy- Cuncolim.

                    -  Fatima Retreat Centre,  Xelli - Loliem.

Faithful seeking to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance can avail themselves of the services offered by the Religious/diocesan clergy in the above mentioned Churches/Institutions.

 

According to the Pastoral Letter on the occasion of the Year of Mercy, (Gonvllik Chitt No. 14, iv) the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the faithful should be organized at the Parish level with the help of the deanery priests or priests attached to Institutes. It was also felt that at least on a day or two in a week, Religious priests could make themselves available in turns in all the five Churches, so that any individual faithful desiring to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance, is able to do so on the following days:

Cathedral Church, Old Goa                     Wednesdays         4:00pm  to 6:00 pm

St. Jerome’s Church, Mapusa                             Fridays                        8:30 am  to 12:00 pm

Holy Spirit Church, Margão                    Thursdays             4:00 pm  to  7:00 pm

Mother of the Poor Church, Tilamola      Saturdays             4:00 pm  to  7:00 pm

Holy Name Church, Praça Daman                      Fridays                        8:30 am to 12:30 pm

 

3. The Organization of Pilgrimages in the above mentioned Churches:

The Deans/Parish Priests of the concerned Deaneries/Parishes are requested to contact the Parish Priests of the above mentioned designated Churches, well in advance, and fix the timing of the Pilgrimage (Romari) as well as the timing of the Eucharist to be celebrated in these Churches. (As already mentioned, confessions are to be organized prior to the pilgrimage in the parish of origin).

 

4. 48 CONTINOUS  HOURS before the LORD:

Twenty four hours to be continously spent for two consecutive days before the Blessed Sacrament is another requirement to make the Year of Mercy a fruitful one. The Holy Father has requested (MV 17) that on Friday and Saturday prior to the Laetare Sunday (6th March 2016) each Parish, Religious House and Institution is supposed to continually pray before the Blessed Sacrament for forty eight hours. In this Archdiocese, it is being recommended that the hours of prayer should start in every Parish /Institution/ Monastery from the 3rd of March at 10:00 pm and will continue till Saturday 5th March till 10:00 pm.

 

5. Volunteers of Mercy:

The Office of the New Evangelization, Rome is proposing that some Christ-faithful volunteer themselves to offer their gratituous services in the Year of Mercy. (They could submit their names with the Dean, so that he, in collaboration with the Parish Priest of the designated Church, could allot the timings to remain in the Church in order to offer their services. In those designated Churches, where for reasons of security the Churches are kept closed on account of the longer lunch break in the afternoon, it is proposed that at the level of the Deneary four Volunteers of Mercy could be chosen so that two could keep vigilance in the Church serving as ushers, whereas the other two could remain kneeling /sitting in front of the Blessed Sacrament in the Church, imploring mercy on those who would be entering in the Church, and after an hour of service they could inter exchange the services.

 

6. Lenten Missions in the Parishes:

The Holy Father strongly recommends that each diocese should organize “missions to the people” in such a way that the ‘Missionaries may be heralds of joy and forgiveness’ (MV 18). Each Parish Priest is free to invite Religious Clergy or Diocesan Clergy to preach these Missions in their Parishes. These “Missions” can be conducted in English and Konknni. They may be conducted for three days or for seven days depending upon the need of the Parish. Domenicans (OP), Redemptorists (CSsR), Pilar Fathers (SFX), Jesuits (SJ), Carmelites (OCD), Capuchins (OFM cap), Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB), Pallottines (SAC),  Divine Word Society Fathers (SVD),  Franciscans (OFM), Franselians (MSFS), Holy Cross Fathers (CSC), Blessed Sacrament Fathers (SSS) and the Diocesan Priests may be invited to preach the Lenten Missions. They could do it in Power Point Presentations.  The suggested themes will be the following :

1. Year of Mercy. (Referring to the Papal Bull, Misericordiae Vultus)

2. On the concept of Mercy itself. (Cfr. the document Dives in Misericordiae)

3. The understanding of Sin and the loss of the Sense of Sin in today’s World.

4. Repentance/Metanoia.

5. The Sacrament of Reconciliation

6. How to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation

7. Sin, its social dimension and its repurcussions on the society and

8. On the significance of Indulgences. 

In the months of February and March 2016, in all the three Centres for the Monthly Meetings of Priests, the Priests will be adressed not more than half an hour by one of the Missionary of Mercy, so that the Religious and Diocesan Clergy are kept abreast of what the Holy See has in mind regarding the Year of Mercy

 

7. Penitential Processions at the level of the Parish or from one Parish to the other . These could culminate in a Night Vigil.

During the Year of Mercy, especially for Lent, the Parish Priest can organize a special Penitential Procession in the whole Parish. This procession could be arranged in such a way that it passes through the whole Parish. This could be done at dusk so that the faithful, with their lanterns lit, could pray and sing, thus beseeching God to have mercy on them. Whenever they pass before a cross or chapel they could stop and make a small station where they pause for a while and proclaim the Word of God and interceed for the needs of the Parish Community.  The penitential procession could also, if so desired, culminate in a night vigil. The Penitential Procession culminating in a Night Vigil, could be organized by two Parishes. It could start in one Parish and move towards the other Parish.

 

8. Year of Mercy and the Family:

The Parish Priests are requested to ask the faithful to undergo the following spiritual or other pertinent excercises as members of the same family:

1. The Family members are called to read the Gospel of Luke (The Mercy Gospel) together, spread throughout the Year of Mercy. The families could probably read it after a common family prayer.

2. Once in a fortnight, in the Year of Mercy, the whole family is requested to spend some time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament  in any Church.

3. Once in a month the whole family can participate in the Sunday Eucharist together and receive Communion together manifesting the unity of the family.

4. During the season of Lent, once in a week, the whole family is called to fast as a family and donating the money thus saved, to any cause designated by the Archbishop in his Pastoral Letter.

5. Once in a month the whole family can come together, acknowledge their faults, requests pardon from one another and on the same day organize a dinner together wherein all partake.

 

9. In the Educational Institutes:

In the Schools, High Schools, Higher Secondaries, Colleges run by the Archdiocesan Board of Education and the Diocesan Society of Education, the traditional confessions prior to first Friday of the month, the participation in the Eucharist on first Friday of the month and the weekly Value Education classes are to be continued and enhanced. In this Year of Mercy, special instructions for the Catholic students, so as how to make their confession, how to forgive one another, how to pray, how to participate actively in the Eucharistic celebration and how to perform spiritual and corporal works of mercy could be gradually given. 

 

10. The Non Clerical Religious men and women:

The non clerical religious men and women staying day and night in their Religious Institutes are also called to spend extra time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in this Year of Mercy. Their supplication for the People of God will definitely bear fruit in the vineyard of the Lord. Their prayer will come to the rescue of so many faithful who are struggling to do the will of God in their personal lives and to live a life of holiness. Through their on-going prayer, may the religious make a sincere effort to WAKE UP THE WORLD as the Holy Father has asked them to do in this Year of Consecrated life.

Golden Verse

1Korintkarank 7:38

Mhonnttôch aplê ankvar hoklê lagim logn zata to borem korta; ani logn zaina to odik borem korta.