Sunday April 12, on the solemnity for the Divine Mercy, Pope Francis announced an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. It will start on the solemnity for the Immaculate Conception of Mary the 8th of December 2015, and close on the 20th of November 2016, on the solemnity of Christ the King.
www.pastoral.no will keep you informed about events connected with the Jubilee Year. Here are the first details:
In the papal bull Misericordiae Vultus announcing the Jubilee Year, Pope Francis writes:
"As we can see in Sacred Scripture, mercy is a key word that indicates God’s action towards us. He does not limit himself merely to affirming his love, but makes it visible and tangible. (...)"
"Mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life. All of her pastoral activity should be caught up in the tenderness she makes present to believers; nothing in her preaching and in her witness to the world can be lacking in mercy. The Church’s very credibility is seen in how she shows merciful and compassionate love."
"We want to live this Jubilee Year in light of the Lord’s words: Merciful like the Father. The Evangelist reminds us of the teaching of Jesus who says, “Be merciful just as your Father is merciful” (Lk 6:36). It is a programme of life as demanding as it is rich with joy and peace. Jesus’s command is directed to anyone willing to listen to his voice (cf. Lk 6:27). In order to be capable of mercy, therefore, we must first of all dispose ourselves to listen to the Word of God. This means rediscovering the value of silence in order to meditate on the Word that comes to us. In this way, it will be possible to contemplate God’s mercy and adopt it as our lifestyle."
Not only in Rome, but in every diocese of the world, Holy Doors will be opened for the whole duration of the Jubilee Year. "This will be a sign that mercy is also a goal to reach and requires dedication and sacrifice. May pilgrimage be an impetus to conversion: by crossing the threshold of the Holy Door, we will find the strength to embrace God’s mercy and dedicate ourselves to being merciful with others as the Father has been with us." (Misericordiae Vultus, 14)
During Lent Pope Francis will send Missionaries of Mercy who will hear confessions and are granted the authority to pardon even those sins normally reserved to the Holy See. The Pope encourages all bishops to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation with their people. All faithful are invited to reflect and perform works of mercy: "Jesus introduces us to these works of mercy in his preaching so that we can know whether or not we are living as his disciples. Let us rediscover these corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, heal the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead. And let us not forget the spiritual works of mercy: to counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the afflicted, forgive offences, bear patiently those who do us ill, and pray for the living and the dead." (Misericordiae Vultus, 15) Because we will all be judged on base of the love we showed our neighbour.
On 05.05.2015 the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation launched the official web page for the Jubilee Year:
The web page is available in a number of languages.
All events throughout the year will be published in the Calendar for the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Meanwhile we can all join in the Pope's prayer for the Year of Mercy.
The Pastoral Department of the Catholic Diocese of Oslo has as its goal to assist parishes and others engaged in pastoral service in the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in the actuality this Gospel has for each and everyone of us in any situation of life. In the Pastoral Plan of the Diocese of Oslo the following is written about the work of the Department:
"The Pastoral Department is there to assist parishes and others engaged in pastoral activities with materials, courses, councel, suggestions of activities etc. for their pastoral service (...) It is also the task of the Department to maintain a particular contact with the youth association of the Catholic Chutch in Norway (NUK), Caritas, the Catholic schools and others engaged in pastoral work but are not, however, directly and/or formally organised under the Diocese." (chapter 2.5)
The Pastoral Department works in a number of areas, among others Marriage, family and pro-life, Catechesis, Pastoral care of immigrants, Catholic studies (among other things the responsibility for the academic studies for diocesan candidates to the priesthood and permanent diaconate), Preventive work against sexual abuse in the Church, Faith sharing in digital and social media, etc.
In addition to the work particularly done towards parishes and others engaged in organised pastoral activities, the Pastoral Department also has a direct pastoral service to families and individuals through developing material to help them practice and strengthen their Catholic faith.
We develop courses and material for sacramental marriage preparation, organise gatherings and offer resources in the areas of marriage, family and pro-life. We also develop and offer material for inspiration and help for families to practice Catholic faith and prayer. We are happy to visit parishes and assist in local arrangements where family issues are on the agenda.
We create and publish material (printed and digital) to be used in the preparation of children for the reception of the sacraments (Baptism, First Holy Communion, Confirmation), in Sunday school and throughout grades 1 to 10. We arrange annual seminars and retreats for catechists, and we also help the parishes with arranging regional and local courses and seminars. Together with external partners, we also develop and offer catechetical formation on univresity level.
The Diocese of Oslo consists to a large extent of immigrants to Norway, and therefore there is a need of an organised pastoral care for different groups of immigrants. This pastoral care is coordinated by the Office for immigrant pastoral care and is regulated by current guidelines. The office is responsible for collecting reports on immigrant pastoral care throughout the Diocese, regardless of the way it is organised, and to send forward this information to the Bishop and relevant authorities. The Pastoral Department collaborates with the Office for immigrant pastoral care in order to help in offering an integral pastoral care for all Catholics in our Diocese.