Day of Spiritual Retreat for Charitable organisations of the Church
“I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Mt 9:13).
In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has asked believers to enable this celebration be a true moment of encounter with the mercy of God. The Holy Father says, “It is my burning desire that, during this Jubilee, the Christian people may reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy” (Misericordiae Vultus, 15); so that the faithful can have an experience of closeness with the Father, whose tenderness is almost tangible.
In light of this, Pope Francis has instructed the Pontifical Council Cor Unum (One Heart), which follows at a universal level the charitable service of the Church; to propose to all those who work in the Church’s different charitable activities – a Day of Spiritual Retreat during Lent on the theme: Caritas Christi urget nos (The Charity of Christ Urges Us On).
When should day of Spiritual Retreat be held?
The Pontifical Council Cor Unum, proposes that the day should be celebrated locally within each group if possible, since it is the Holy Father’s wish that the Jubilee is celebrated especially in loco. A specific date for the entire universal Church has not been determined in order to allow each charitable organisation, group or institution to carry out with great freedom according to its needs.
What goes on in Day of Spiritual Retreat?
The Day of Spiritual Retreat has three parts:
- A Penitential Celebration with individual confessions
- A time of sharing in a group
- The Eucharistic Celebration
For the Penitential Celebration, the programme provides an introduction; two readings alternated with a Psalm, a catechetical guide to prepare for confession. The confessions, are preferably done within the celebration to show the communitarian dimension of our journey of faith.
For the time of group sharing, there are proposed questions on how the service is lived, both in the personal commitment and in the experience with others.
For the Eucharistic celebration, the form “For Charity” can be applied and used, in accordance with the respective Bishop, on weekdays. However not on Sundays and Feast days and from Monday to Wednesday of Holy Week, according to the liturgical norms (cfr. Institutio Generalis Missali Romani, 374). It is good to keep to the readings during Lent in order to maintain the spirit of the liturgical season.
- Material of Animation:
For the “Day of Spiritual Retreat”. In the proposed material, there is the prayer of Pope Francis for the Jubilee and a list of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, from which the retreat day is inspired.
- Poster of Jesus the Good Shepherd:
Where the works of mercy are provided. Small/web version here.
- Message from the Pope:
The works of mercy on the road of the Jubilee. Pope Francis’ message for Lent 2016
- Pontifical Council’s Cor Unum website:
The origin of the resources and if you need more information.