Canadian divine mercy centre
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Objectives and Purpose
A Short History
The Divine Mercy Centre
The Mission of the Divine Mercy Centre and Apostolate
To preach, promote and advance the spiritual teaching of the Roman Catholic Church by:
- going out (by invitation) in communities, prayer groups, Church organizations, etc. to speak about the good news of God’s salvation,
- propagating the message of the saving power of God and His Divine Mercy for all of mankind,
- stressing in speaking engagements the importance of a truthful and righteous behaviour,
- speaking in Church congregations about the love of God for mankind and the salvation which derives from it,
- handing out leaflets, prayer cards, etc. to inform the people of God about different aspects of the Roman catholic faith,
To support missions and missionaries in order to propagate the Roman Catholic faith by:
sending free materials to missions and missionaries in our own country and abroad,
supporting missions and missionaries through financial aid for the purpose of teaching, providing health care, etc., in accordance with the Church’s teachings of “sharing with the less fortunate”,
sending teachers and preachers to the missions to further advance the works of mercy.
To incorporate the Roman Catholic Church's works of mercy in our work to:
feed the hungry – through donations, food drives, dinners for the underprivileged on special occasions (Thanksgiving, Christmas),
provide furniture and/or appliances – through the collection of used articles which are supplied free of charge to people in need,
visit and comfort – through trained volunteers who will be apostles of Divine Mercy so that comfort by means of gifts of love and prayer can be brought into nursing homes and hospitals, to shut-ins and the imprisoned,
instruct – through printing of informative materials to distribute upon request through instruction sessions and meetings to inform the uninformed throughout our country; through teaching sessions at the Divine Mercy Centre based on the Catholic Catechism, the Bible, the Holy Father’s writing and writings of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska (also kinown as the Secretary of Divine Mercy),
comfort and counsel – through a counseling and prayer line as well as personal counseling at the Centre,
operate a retreat facility – by providing a place of refuge, reflection and/or spiritual growth. At the Divine Mercy guest house, retreatants will have access to a well-stocked library of religious books, video tapes and DVD’s for their spiritual benefit. They will also have access to a prayer room for a quiet time of reflection and group prayer or teaching sessions. If desired, retreatants may participate in the daily tasks of the Apostolate house, or they may simply enjoy the beauty of the nature on the property. These will give the retreatants strength to continue the works of mercy in the public sector. The community as a whole benefits when all its active members are “at their best” both physically and spiritually.
Divine Mercy Devotion-A Short History
On February 21, 1931 a young Polish nun, Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska, saw a vision of Jesus with rays of mercy streaming from the area of his Heart. He told her to have an image painted to represent this vision and to sign it “Jesus, I trust in You”.
Calling her His Apostle and Secretary of Divine Mercy, He ordered her to begin writing a diary so that others would come to know and trust in Him. In a series of revelations that followed between 1931 and 1938, He taught that His mercy is unlimited and available to even the greatest sinners. He revealed special ways for people to respond to His mercy in their lives and He gave her several promises for those who trust in His mercy and show mercy to others. By the time of Sister Faustina’s death in 1938, devotion to the Divine Mercy had already begun to spread through Eastern Europe.
In July of 1940, Father Joseph Jarzebowski, a Polish Marian priest fleeing from war-torn Poland, prayed to the merciful Saviour to help him escape, vowing to spend the rest of his life spreading the Divine Mercy Devotion. He arrived safely on American soil in 1941 and Marian communities of Detroit and Washington D.C. were soon distributing Mercy of God materials. In 1944, a group of Marians opened a new house and apostolate on Eden Hill in Stockbridge Massachusetts and began spreading the Divine Mercy Devotion on a large scale.
In 1960, the Marians completed the construction of a shrine which has become the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy and the apostolate has become the Marian Helpers Center, a religious publishing house. The process for the beatification of Sister Faustina was begun in 1966. On March 7 of 1992, in the presence of the Holy Father, the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints promulgated the Decree of Heroic Virtues, by which the Church acknowledges that Sister Faustina practised all the Christian virtues to a heroic degree.
On December 21, 1992, a healing (Maureen Digan) through Sister Faustina’s intercession was declared a miracle and on April 18 of 1993 (Mercy Sunday), she was declared Blessed.
Just before this declaration, the Canadian Divine Mercy Centre was established as a distribution centre. In 1996, we moved to the Lanark Highlands to set up a permanent home for Divine Mercy in Canada. The wooded property, guest house, outdoor Stations of the Cross Trail, well-stocked spiritual library and private prayer Oratory provide the opportunity for many visitors to find peace and spiritual renewal in these troubled times.
Another miraculous healing (Father Ron Pytel) was used to finalize the process for Sister Faustina’s canonization. On April 30 of 2000 (the Jubilee Year), Pope John Paul II declared the first Saint of the New Millennium – Saint Maria Faustina of the Most Blessed Sacrament and also decreed Divine Mercy Sunday as a universal Feast of the Church.
Canadian Divine Mercy Centre & Apostolate
#2531 Dalhousie Concession 2, Lanark, ON K0G 1K0. Canada