popa francis declared a jubilee year. what he called the holy year of mercy. to run december 8, december 20. his hope is that the roman catholic church, around the world, will highlight the mission of the church to bring mercy. today, on "mosaic" we have father mark doherty who will be telling us more about what this year of mercy is and how we can engage in it. when we come back, after the short break, we invite you to join us as we journey into the year of mercy. music track ♪ [splash] ♪ [drill sargeant] attention
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welcome to mosaic -- "mosaic" going on now through november 20. i am angela pollock, the director of young adult ministry for the archdiocese of san francisco. joining me today is father mark doherty. is a vector in st. peter's parish in san francisco's mission district. and is also chaplain i think of the is high school and severances go. father mark entered the judgment ordering your 2000. in 2014 he was ordained a priest in the archdiocese of san francisco. since 2000 he has served in many human life pastoral capacities including working shelters and crisis counseling. father mark has taught history in high school, and will be speaking in local venues across the archdiocese during the year mercies. thank you for joining us. >> very glad to be here. >> would you tell us about the
year of mercy? >> of course, the jubilee year is an event that comes around every so often, usually maybe every 50 years or so. it is clear that pope francis and declaring a special jubilee year, of mercy, for this year, it is clear the theme of mercy stands out to him for an important message for the universal church of the whole world. i think to get a sense of why, we do not have to look too far. all we need to do first is look at the first lengthy interview he gave shortly after being elective -- elective. pope francis is a jesuit, a member of the society of jesus. it's no surprise, the first interview he gave was the first jesuit of italy called. [inaudible] at the very beginning of that interview, father anthony asked the pontiff who is pope francis?
t he pope answer very sincerely was jorge maria berg olio is a sinner who has experienced the mercy of god. that's, i think, tells us everything we need to know about the motivation pope francis has for declaring the year of mercy. it has been a paramount experience in his home life. he would like to invite everyone, around the world, all christians around the world, men and women of goodwill, to experience i knew this mercy of god. >> that is fantastic. what do you think it means to be a missionary of mercy? >> to be a missionary of mercy i think first we have to zero in a little bit on the idea of mercy. it is a simple word but we can get caught up in wondering exactly what that means. i think the first thing that stands out about mercy.
the first thing that stands out for pope francis in his mind and his heart. is the experience of being sought out by a loving parent. by a loving father who wants to bring his children home. pope francis speaks on occasion of this powerful experience he had of a young man going into an efficient -- confessional, and literally experiencing the touch of god. experiencing the mercy of god. experiencing the brace of god. when we speak about the mercy of god, experiencing the mercy of god. being a participant in the mercy of god. we are talking about the image of a father whose running after his child. running after his children to bring them home. i think, for example, the hound of heaven, where he speaks of the hound of heaven running up and down in an effort to come after his children to bring them home. i think that really speaks to the fundamental question of the human spirit. at the heart of our spirit is the question "am i worth it? am i mi lovable?
do i matter? ." the experience of the mercy of god is first and foremost unaffordable answer. i matter to god. i am worth it to god. god seeks me out up and down the labyrinth in a way to embrace me and bring me home. that is the first thing we have to say about mercy. >> it reminds me of that rembrandt, the prodigal son. i remember very well that inaugural message from pope francis and how it resonated so deeply with people, around the world. that beautiful embrace of the father, and bringing out that love to everyone. what do you think pope francis has talked about this year of mercy being particularly important for the family. what do you think that familial love. what does this mean? how does this connect to the family this year? >> i think it is no surprise
that when they do surveys about what the gospel, time and again they rate the parable is the prodigal son their favorite story in the gospel. precisely because it speaks to the deepest desire of the human heart to be a member of the family. to belong. to count. to be worth it. we have, this beautiful image of a loving father who is embracing his son, a son who is clearly strayed and wandered in all sorts of ways. but a father becomes nonetheless and embraces him to bring him home. it speaks to the fundamental desire to be members of a family. pope francis stresses the same all the time. the theme of the family. most recently of course on the family around that we have heard so much about. but not only there, he has done it in little ways.
he has gathered, on occasion in st. peter's square. a multitude of engaged couples and come out in st. peter's square and given them advice about marriage in preparation for their marriage. and his last most recent -- a beautiful text, he's gone on in so many ways to speak about the world, as our home and the fact that all of the men, women and children are members of the family, and therefore we bear responsibility for looking out for one another. we bear responsible for looking out for our mutual common home. i think pope francis is consistently speaking to this theme of family because he knows that it touches the deepest desires and aspirations of the human heart. >> i love what you said about the global family. even people we have not met we all have gifts. we all have weaknesses. and we all need one another. none of us is the perfect package. >> none of us is sufficient to ourselves. i think here, the holy fathers trying to speak to the concerns of our temporary era.
where we so often hear about this intimate -- individualistic message. you have to be your own person. the holy father comes back and says no, you're not sufficient to yourself. in order to flourish and become the man or woman you are meant to be. you need each other. in fact, that is where we get a deeper sense of the scope of mercy. mercy, and its fullest sense is not only experiencing a loving father who comes to embrace me, to welcome me into the fold. the full measure of mercy, the mature measure of mercy is the experience of being ennobled by the father with a place in the family. which means a share in the work of the family. when we seek about being a missionary of mercy. what we are really speaking about first and foremost is being invited into the work of the family so i belong in the family. i have to look over my brothers and sisters in need. i helped in constructing this beautiful family where everyone
knows that they are worth it and everyone belongs. i think that speaks to the second question of the human heart. the first is, am i worth it? mi valuable enough to be counted. the second one is, am i capable ? mi thought well enough by the father and my brothers and sisters to be entrusted with a share in the work. the lord's mercy descends upon us, and he endows each one of us with a particular sharing network. i think that is where the missionary spirit of mercy comes in. >> that is beautiful. thank you for giving us a great overview of the year of mercy and just being a part of the global family. right now we are going to take a quick break. when we come back we are going to discuss more of what living this mercy looks like here in the archdiocese san francisco. in ways we can engage in this year of mercy locally.
welcome back to "mosaic." if you are just joining us we are discussing the year of mercy. going on now through n ovember 20. this is designated by pope francis. with me today as father mark doherty a priest for the archdiocese of san francisco. you beautifully talked about what this year of mercy means for our universal church. the church around the world. let's attorn our attention more locally to our archdiocese which covers three counties. i know a lot of churches, and a lot of nonprofit organizations, across the bay area are already living out the works of mercy. they have been doing so for many years. but, this year in particular, they are doing more, as well as making intentional effort to
really engage more people in those works of mercy. invite people to not only experience mercy but to share and extend that mercy to others. my own parish, here in seven cisco, just had a beautiful concert for syrian refugees, a couple of weeks ago that was fantastic. i know a lot of the local nonprofits were getting together joining forces to help the homeless with the el niño. and getting them socks, shoes, blankets, tarps. it's just so much wonderful work going on. i would love for us to talk a little bit more about some of these activities occurring here in the archdiocese. do you want to share some of the things that are happening here in the archdiocese. >> of course, the first thing to be said is when we speak about the more, when pope francis speaks about the more, what he is referring to is this famous jesuit expression. god is always the modulus, he
is always the more. he is always going out further and further in an effort to do more to express his love for his people. so, of course, that becomes our mission to do more. more doesn't mean reinventing the wheel though. we know, as we look at pope francis his life experience as is -- it is not as if when he was archbishop he was reinventing the wheel. he was instead taking the step back on occasion. looking around his community. and asking himself the question, are there particular c ommunities, groups of people, particular individuals who are in special need of experiencing this loving touch of god. he would take a step back, take a look around and then he would engage. he would go to the poor sections of one is aris. he would walk on foot through all of these alleyways in an effort to meet the people out there who rarely had a chance to see a priest.
it's not so much a call to reinvent the will. it is a call to take a step back, examine the situation, and reengage with greater vigor. in my parish, for example i think of our little neighborhood in the southeast part of the city, on 24th street in alabama. that is where st. peter's is. saint anthony is on cesar chavez and folsom. my pastor and i recently took a step back ourselves in response to this call of pope francis. and asked ourselves, are there particular groups of people in our neighborhood who are in need of experiencing that mercy. it became clear to us in conjunction with the missionaries of charity. of late, there is a growing community of homeless people, under the 101 freeway overpass. we thought, here is a perfect opportunity, and a local setting we have taken a step back, we have looked around. we have noticed there is a growing community of homeless people under the freeway there. we have gathered together members of the parish.
we have joined our efforts with the missionaries of charity. we formed a chapter which is a perennial charitable organization of the church. we have started going down to the freeway overpass, in the afternoons. our parishioners primarily on sunday afternoons. we made sandwiches. we've met people. we've engage them there -- them. through that work, we have communicated to these folks, that they matter, that they belong, that they are members of a family. they are loved by god, but not just by god but by also also. they are in our neighborhood. they are members of our neighborhood and we care for them. that is a good example, i would say of an effort to take a step back, reengage, and do the more. you can see examples throughout the archdiocese. you mentioned this initiative for syrian refugees. we can look at the project which is at saint boniface where they host a shelter, which of course
is very important during the winter months. they have extended the hours. it is now a daytime shelter. there is a cooperative venture between catholic communities and other christian communities . men and women of good will to give greater access to shelter space. to those men women and children who are in need of it. that is the ubl project. i know our office of restorative justice is doing more and more now and an effort to rally around the families and the communities area victims who have suffered violence, just this past year, in my neighborhood, one of our young children was murdered, a couple of blocks from my church. the office of restorative justice was very helpful in helping to bring the community together. we put a rosary out there every night in an effort to pray, bring healing and promote he's -- promote peace in the name -- neighborhood. we are taking seriously this call from pope francis. take a step back and examine the terrain and reengage with
greater vigor. >> there is so many ways people here in the bay area can get involved. i know the project is always looking for people who can create meals. donate goods that are needed. you know, there are so many other ways, st. vincent depaul is having a book drive coming up across the bay. to provide literature. there is so many opportunities that people can engage, in all of these wonderful works of mercy. would you talk a little bit about -- the church often talks about the works of mercy and the spiritual works of mercy. would you say what those are? >> when we speak of the corporal works of mercy and the spiritual works of mercy. we are coming back to this theme of the family. it happens to be the case that
here and there in different moments, this or that member's in particular need. either emotional need, spiritual need our material knee. when we speak of emotional need, i think, for example, those family members that have experienced a loss, a death, for example. then they and they need the support of the community to come around and help them. material need we spoke of the homeless. it's always an effort to go out and find those members of the family, who are in particular need and that moment and to speak to those needs, to respond to those needs in a loving and affectionate way. >> thank you so much. we will talk more about this and how you personally can engage in this year of mercy when we come back from the short break.
welcome back to "mosaic" where we are learning about the year of mercy going on -- going on now through november 20. i am here with father mark doherty. i wonder if you could extend a personal invitation to all of our viewers, catholic and non- throughout the bay area. what would you want to say to them about this year of mercy and inviting them to engage in it. >> i think the person foremost, the thing to express is that all of us matter. all of us are beloved by god. so the year of mercy is trying to extend to all men and women of goodwill. all christians and catholics. that they matter to god, they are worth it. which is why, among other reasons, in this year of mercy pope francis has asked priest to make the sacrament of confession more readily available. we all know saturday afternoons is not the ideal time for confession. so pope francis based on his
experience of having gone to convention of a young man and experience that particular loving touch of god embraces mercy. pope francis really wants us priests to open the door of our churches, for greater availability to confession. in this year, priests, all around the world, i know my pastor and i are going to do this. we are going to find opportune moments, throughout the year, to make confession available for longer durations of time. for the whole day, if you will. maybe even 24 hours at a time we are talking about. we take shifts and make that available. the holy father has this idea that he wants people, each in their own way to experience that merciful loving touch of the father. we have all, in one way or another straight from the family house, but the father comes after us to bring us all.
confession, i would encourage catholics to go to confession. and val unveil themselves of this wonderful sacrament. i know for me in my life the confession has been paramount. a great opportunity to experience the loving touch of god. and then from there, having experience that mercy of god. having sought the lord out for his forgiveness and experienced his mercy. that then fills the heart with gratitude. and gratitude is always an energy, if you will. it's the grace that turns us out of ourselves and gives us the desire, to go out and share the wealth with others. to share this good news with others. catholics, christians, men and women of good will can all know on the archdiocese website. find all of these ministries, of service, these missions of mercy that the archdiocese is already engaged in. you can look through the list, and find one or another that speaks to your heart. one of these ministries that prompts within you a desire to share, to be a missionary of
mercy, in your own way. we know that st. paul says the body is composed of many parts therefore the gifts, and talents given out to each one of us are different. but, we can each find our place in the family. we can each find a way to be missionaries of mercy. i would encourage our viewers to go on the website, look at the list of all of the mr.-- ministries and sign up. find a way to help out. allow yourself to be ennobled with a share in the work. that is really what god wants us to do. to extend the mantle of mercy to all of us. and part of that is the experience of sharing in the work of mercy. sharing in the work of mercy. >> you talked about how confession has been so important to you. can you share a little bit more in the couple minutes we have left, how have you personally experience experienced mercy. and how is it transformed your life. >> i have experienced it in this twofold way.
i remember when i was a young college kid and came to the end of my first year of college rather disillusioned and not feeling too well. thinking my place out -- thinking myself out of place and out of sorts. i went to confession for the first time, and a long time, and i felt the merciful touch of the lord. from there, all of a sudden the sky opened up, and this reality that god is there, that god has a plan for life. that there is meaning to life it came upon me. and my vocation, the call to priestly ministry came up in that moment. i second year of college. it has made all of the difference in my life. i've experienced the mercy of god and being ennobled with this gift of location. the vocation of the priesthood. as a result i have tremendous peace and joy, in my life, as i work for the kingdom. it's a tremendous expense of mercy that i have received. >> thank you so much father mark. it has been wonderful chatting with you. thank you for joining us. we hope, we pray that you have uninspired -- have been
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