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Perth Catholics called to unite in reconciliation for Year of Mercy


Pope Francis goes to Confession during a Lenten penance service in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on 13 March 2015. Photo: CNS/Stefano Spaziani

By Jamie O'Brien

Catholics across the Archdiocese will next month be given a unique opportunity to experience the Sacrament of Reconciliation at a special liturgy for the Year of Mercy.

The special liturgical celebration, which will include the second rite of reconciliation, will be held on Tuesday, 15 March at St Mary’s Cathedral at 6pm with Archbishop Timothy Costelloe and priests from across Perth.

Chairperson for the Year of Mercy Committee, Father Greg Donovan, said he hopes all members of the Archdiocese can feel welcome for this occasion.

“Each one of us is very much loved by God and the Sacrament of Reconciliation is a perfect time to be reminded of this,” Fr Donovan said.

“All too often, the pressures of family life, work and money lead us to forget the immense happiness that God is calling us to.

“However, in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we can unite together in this special liturgy and hear and be reminded that, by putting God first, we can grow more and more into the people He is calling us to be,” he said.

Fr Donovan went on to recall the homily of Archbishop Costelloe at the Opening of the Holy Door on 12 December 2015, when he spoke about salvation.

“There has always been a great temptation in many strands of Christianity to believe, or at least to act as if, we can win our salvation through our own efforts: that we can somehow deserve to be saved,” the Archbishop said.

“If we say enough prayers, or do enough penance, or give enough money to the poor, then God will have no choice but to reward us.

“But this is not true Christianity: it is certainly not Catholic tradition or teaching.

“It is not our good deeds which will save us: rather, it is our faith in Jesus, which is to say our constant entrusting of our lives to Him, which will save us - and it is this faith that will inspire us to do good things because, as we give ourselves in love to Christ, His mind and heart will form within us and we will begin to see, and hear, and speak, and love, as He does.

“And what will lead us to live in this trusting way? The recognition, and serene acceptance, that, left to ourselves, we are helpless but, united to Christ, we are made strong.”

Fr Donovan also extended a warm welcome especially to those who may not have been to the Sacrament of Reconciliation for some time.

“Don’t be afraid to be a witness to the real mercy of God in this Jubilee Year,” he said.

For more information, contact the Communications Office on 08 9220 5900 or email