The third World Apostolic Congress on Mercy will be held Aug. 15-19, in Bogota, Colombia. The Congress is expected to draw thousands of people, including many cardinals, and will include testimonies, lectures, street celebrations, Holy Masses, and missions.
“Once again we will gather together people from around the world to deepen our faith in, and awareness of, the Merciful Jesus and to bring the Divine Mercy message into the daily life of the Church and the world,” said Fr. Patrice Chocholski of Lyon, France, general secretary of the Congress.
The structure of the Congress will be similar to the previous: five days with talks and testimonies in the morning, workshops and mission in parishes in the afternoon, and festivals in the evening. Speakers will include Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, president of the Mercy Congress, discussing “Divine Mercy, Our Mission”; Cardinal Rubén Salazar, Archbishop of Bogota, addressing “Mercy at the Service of Reconciliation and Peace in Colombia”; and Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow, Poland. Mass celebrants will include Msgr. Alapati Mata’eliga, archbishop of Apia, Samoa-Oceania; Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Lyon, France; and Msgr. Ettore Ballestrero, Apostolic Nuncio to Colombia.
The Congress will use as its inspiration what has become the master plan for the New Evangelization in Latin America, the so called “Aparecida Document.” Written under the guidance of former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (now Pope Francis), the document stems from the Fifth General Assembly of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Brazil in 2007.
As with the two previous Congresses — the first in Rome in 2008 and the second in Poland in 2011 — the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception are deeply involved in the planning, and will be organizing a pilgrimage for Marian Helpers and all who wish to attend the Congress. (We will provide updates as more information becomes available.)
“The Congress will help people come to know God as a God of mercy who can cure us from our brokenness, our sinfulness and our fears,” said Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, the Marians’ Provincial Superior in the United States and Argentina. “We will share how He wants us to do the same for each other — to carry each others’ crosses — in a world in desperate need of His profound gift of mercy.”
We will continue to post updates on the plans at mercycongress.