PARAÑAQUE City, April 23, 2016- In celebration of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, Mary Queen of Apostles Parish (MQAP) in the Diocese of Parañaque conducted from April 22 to 23 an overnight vigil and pilgrimage to the Cathedral parish of St. Andrew, one of the diocese’ designated jubilee churches.
“This a very extraordinary event because for this year, we really experience God’s mercy and the awareness that God is always close to one of us and [we strengthen the] commitment to serve our brothers and sisters,” said Fr. Gianni Sandalo PIME parish priest of MQAP
He also called the activity “an event of renewal, hope and joy.”
‘God within us’
“[It brings] renewal for each one of us because we need the grace of God, hope, and joy because we know we walk together hand and hand, built up the presence of God,” explained Sandalo.
For the priest, the message of this Year of Mercy is to discover that God is a compassionate Father and “God is within us … a God of Justice.”
The event officially started at 11:00 p.m., followed by the exposition of the Host and the night-long prayer. At 4:00 a.m., participants headed to the Cathedral Parish of St. Andrew to cross its holy door and participate in the Mass.
According to MQAP volunteer catechist Cita Suerez, the group organized a Sunday catechesis in every area under the jurisdiction of the parish in order to prepare the faithful for the said event.
For Maribeth Mendoza, a MQAP parishioner, modern society needs this Year of Mercy and “if we put our trust [in[ the mercy of the Lord, this society will be a society of love and mercy.”
Meanwhile, it is the personal dimension of God’s mercy that strikes Gerald Dy, MQAP youth leader.
Mercy inspires joy, gratitude
“For me the mercy of God influences me to trust him,” he noted, saying he trusts God to bring about “great change.”
According to Dyve Candaza youth leader of MQAP, his personal celebration of the Year of Mercy inspires his service to the Church and is one driven by gratitude.
“This year, I will give back to Lord with great joy and gladness. For me this year is a remarkable year to give in return for what we have received and to share these to others.”
For Janet Borela and Mrs. Obleas, mercy ‘is a great joy”.
They also stressed the need to show mercy to others by helping the needy and praying for them.
According to Agnes Seña and Betg Reyes, the best way to receive God’s mercy is to accept God’s call to conversion by receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation and by sharing God’s mercy to others.
They both stressed the need for forgiveness and Pope Francis’ appeal to go back to practicing the corporal works of mercy. (Michael Dalogdog / CBCPNews)