The Year of Mercy - 2015 University Theme | Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    Welcome to a new academic year at Franciscan University of Steubenville, a year in which we will focus together on the theme, “Be Rich in Mercy Like the Father” (cf. Eph. 2:4-5).

    As Catholics, we frequently call upon God’s mercy. In every Mass, we pray, “Lord, have mercy!” and in the sacrament of confession, the priest offers the prayer of absolution addressed to “God, the Father of mercies.”

    We rightly seek God’s mercy for ourselves in the sacraments of the Church and in our prayers and devotions. But we must also challenge ourselves to pass along the mercy we receive to everyone we encounter, telling others of our heavenly Father’s merciful love and being his mercy to them.

    To help us become rich in mercy as our Father is merciful, Pope Francis has proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy beginning this December 8.

    Quoting St. John Paul II, he said, “The Church lives an authentic life when she professes and proclaims mercy—the most stupendous attribute of the Creator and of the Redeemer—and when she brings people close to the sources of the Savior’s mercy” (Misericordiae Vultus, No. 11).

    Let us make it our aim, then, to live that authentic Christian life and become more capable of mercy this year, especially by:

    1. meditating on the Word of God and accepting the invitation to deeper conversion;
    2. going on pilgrimage, whether to our own Portiuncula Chapel, Rome, or other places of pilgrimage; and
    3. opening “our hearts to those living on the outermost fringes of society” (No. 15) particularly in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, for which we find many opportunities and programs on campus.

    In short, let us dedicate ourselves as the Franciscan University family to “living out in our daily lives the mercy that the Father constantly extends to all of us” (No. 25) and watch for the fruit of his merciful love to abound in our midst.

    May God continue to bless you!

    In Christ and St. Francis,

    Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR

    President, Franciscan University of Steubenville
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