From Our President
In March 2015, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, declared an Extraordinary Jubilee Year that began on December 8, 2015 and that will end on the Solemnity of Christ the King in November 2016. Jubilee Years are convened by the Pope approximately every 25 years. These religious events call upon the faithful worldwide to focus on a particular religious theme, and they typically serve as a unifying moment in the Church. The next Jubilee year was anticipated in 2025, but in calling for this extraordinary observance, Pope Francis draws attention to a theme which has been central to his papacy since the time of his election.
As we begin this new year and a new semester, it seems that this observance of the Holy Year of Mercy presents significant challenges and opportunities for the entire campus community. As Kerry Weber, managing editor of America, and author of the book Mercy in the City, observes, "mercy is the willingness to enter into the chaos of another." Simply recall the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Those who are hungry, thirsty, and naked, sick, or imprisoned as well as those who experience doubt, are wronged, or suffer the loss of loved ones surely know confusion and disorder in their lives and in their everyday.
My hope is that during this special time of the Jubilee Year we will explore the meaning of mercy for us personally and communally and will determine how this meaning can and will be expressed by us, individually and collectively, both now and in the future. If we accept the tenet that the human family is one and that each of us provides value to this family through our unique gifts and talents, we will also accept our responsibility to serve others and appreciate the very real importance of doing so.
And with this our journey begins...with Pope Francis we pray that we may be "compassionate like the Father."
Sister Maureen McGarrity, CSFN, PhD
President, Holy Family University