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NEW HAVEN – “The Face of Mercy,” a new Knights of Columbus documentary that uses personal accounts to highlight the impact of God’s mercy on people’s lives, will air on many ABC-affiliated TV stations from Oct. 16 to Dec. 16.

“Throughout the 20th century, the Catholic understanding of Divine Mercy became increasingly important. Both Saint John Paul II, and Pope Francis, who declared this Year of Mercy, made it a central theme of their papacies,” said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson. “This extraordinary film highlights the sort of transformations that are possible in individual lives that embrace the way of mercy, forgiveness and reconciliation.”

Narrated by actor Jim Caviezel, “The Face of Mercy” draws connections between the history of Divine Mercy and this year’s Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, which will end Nov. 20.

The documentary also shows mercy’s role in the transformation of the lives of ordinary people.

It explores how Saint John Paul II inherited and shared the message of Divine Mercy revealed to a Polish nun, Sister Faustina Kowalska, in the first half of the 20th century. While still an archbishop in Poland, SaintJohn Paul worked to gain the church’s approval of the message revealed to Sister Faustina. Her message was embraced, and the pope who had worked so hard to spread her message declared her a saint in 2000. 

These two Polish saints – Faustina and John Paul II – together propelled the image of Divine Mercy – and insight into the concept – onto the world stage. That work continues as Pope Francis continues to promote Divine Mercy during the Jubilee Year of Mercy now underway in the Catholic Church. 

Filmed in 4K high definition, the project weaves theology and history with modern testimonials to reveal what constitutes the face of mercy in people’s lives, and how it is the antidote to evil even in the most difficult times. 

The people featured include Immaculée Ilibagiza, who found freedom in forgiveness after seeing her family wiped out by genocide in Rwanda; a former-NFL linebacker who walked away from his sports career to share Christ’s mercy with the homeless; a baseball player who traded major league ambitions for a priestly vocation; a priest with a drug-dealing past; and a young widow who chose to forgive her husband’s killer. All witness to mercy in incredible ways in their own lives.

“These moving testimonies remind us that Divine Mercy is not just a devotion or theological concept — it is alive, it is present, and it is a force that can transform the world,” said Mr. Anderson.

www.faceofmercyfilm.com 

 

alertAt the Spring Assembly of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Joseph Tobin suggested that a delegation ofbishops go to the border to see for themselves what was happening to newly arrived immigrants, families and children. On July 1 and 2, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, and five other bishops conducted a pastoral visit to the diocese of Brownsville, Texas. Stops included Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle with the community, a visit to anHHS/OBR Shelter and Mass for the families there, a visit to the Customs and Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, TX, and a press conference at the end of their visit. Catholic News Service accompanied the bishops on their border trip. 

  1. Backgrounder and analysis of the bishops’ trip to the border: Cardinal DiNardo told CNS, “You cannot look at immigration as an abstraction when you meet” the people behind the issue.
  2. At final press conference, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo said the church was willing to be part of any conversation to find humane solutions because even a policy of detaining families together in facilities caused “concern.”
  3. Bishops serve soup to immigrant families at a center run by Catholic Charities and listen to their stories. Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said he found hope in hearing the people in the room talk about what’s ahead. They didn’t speak of making money but of finding safety for their children, he said, driven by “the most basic instinct to protect your family.”
  4. At an opening Mass he Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine near McAllen, Texas, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville told Massgoers, “The bishops are visiting here so they can stop and look and talk to people and understand, especially the suffering of many who are amongst us,”

A delegation of U.S. bishops goes on a fact-finding mission at the U.S.-Mexican border to learn more about Central American immigration detention.

Following their visit to an immigrant detention center, U.S. bishops said they are even more determined to call on Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.