By George P. Matysek Jr.
Celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday at Divine Mercy Parish in the Holy Year of Mercy is bound to be special for parishioners of the Western Maryland faith community.
“It will be our feast day,” said Father Edward S. Hendricks, pastor of the newly formed parish that was established in January, when St. Michael in Frostburg, St. Ann in Grantsville, St. Joseph in Midland and St. Peter in Westernport came together as a single parish while maintaining four worship locations.
During the April 3 celebration of the Feast of Divine Mercy, parishioners will bring forward a new sacramental registry at all the Masses. Prayer cards with a Divine Mercy medal will be available.
During the canonization of St. Faustina Kowalska in 2000, St. John Paul II established the Feast of Divine Mercy, designating it for the Second Sunday of Easter. St. Faustina was a 20th-century Polish nun who promoted Christ’s message of mercy. The psalm and Gospel reading for the day focus on mercy.
“With the pope’s proclamation of the Year of Mercy, it really asks us to look into our hearts to see if we are embracing God’s mercy in our lives and then living out that mercy with one another,” Father Hendricks said.
Many parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Baltimore will offer special Divine Mercy observations, including publicly praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy (click here for a how-to guide) and making available opportunities for confession and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Archbishop William E. Lori will celebrate a 1:30 p.m. bilingual Divine Mercy Mass in Polish and English at Holy Rosary in Fells Point, site of the archdiocesan Divine Mercy Shrine.
Holy Rosary will offer the sacrament of reconciliation at noon. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a sung chaplet and procession will begin at 3 p.m. at Holy Rosary, which will also offer opportunities to venerate the Divine Mercy image and relics of St. John Paul II and St. Faustina.