GLOBE TROTTERING THE WORLD
FOR DIVINE MERCY PURPOSES
As General Secretary, appointed by His Eminence Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, President of the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy, Fr Patrice Chocholski attended all Continental Congresses dedicated to Divine Mercy.
The first continental Congress to follow the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy, Rome 2008 was "OACOM" , Oceanian Apostolic Congress on Mercy. It was in July 2009, just before the terrible Tsunami. Although, His Grace Mons. Alapati L. Mata’Eliga and the whole staff of the Archdiocesis of Samoa are still involved in all various phases of relief ranging from distribution of food, shelter ; psychological aspect and socialisation support, reconstruction and spiritual support, they bear true witness of their faith by considering still possible to hold National Congresses dedicated to Divine Mercy.
In November 2009, Fr Patrice Chocholski took the opportunity of being involved in two nearly concurrent Continental Congress :
NACOM North American Congress on Mercy, November, 14-15, 2009
AACOM Asian Apostolic Congress on Mercy, November, 20-21-22, 2009
and visted coordinators or potential coordinators who are the first point of contact to assist in the formation of small communities to foster growth in the Divine Mercy faith in United States, China, Philippines, Australia, Thailand, India… a two week peregrination !
In October he visited coordinators in Mexico and Colombia. Cardinal Schönborn appointed the actual Archbishop of Puebla as Coordinator for Latin America, with the acknoledgement of CELAM.
1 - NORTH AMERICAN CONGRESS ON MERCY
The Congress’ theme proposed by the American Committee presided by Most Rev. William Lori bishop of Bridgeport, was « Mercy : our hope ».
This three day Congress took place in Washington DC at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The very fruitful team headed by Fr Matthew Mauriello and by Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC was in charge of the preparation of this continental Congress.
The aim of the Friday’s proposal before Congress, called Pre-NACOM, hosted by the Marians of Immaculate Conception was to deepen the understanding through workshops : tools were given to American and Canadian based attendees to bring the Divine Mercy message home. A Congress Holy Mass closed this first day.
Saturday’ schedule was dedicated to relevant Divine Mercy witnesses to emphazise the work of Divine Mercy devotion in our day-life, most of them, were very convincing conversion testimonies. Among the speaker, well know speakers such as Scott Hahn, a Lutheran converted to catholic Faith. The sanctuary was overcrowded and it turned out to be a very successful congress acccording to all attendees.
This first day Congress closing Mass was concelebrated by Bishop William Lori, Cardinal Rigali and bishops from Chicago and Los Angeles. The Committee hold a final reception gathering many bishops whose interest in developing Regional Congress was noticeable : for Northern regions in Chicago, for California and western territories : Los Angeles, for Eastern area : Massachusetts, for the southern United States : may be in Texas.
During the final holy Mass concluding the Congress each was called to action. The Canadian delegations expressed their wish to place their group (cenacles) under the spiritual direction of a referent Divine Mercy Bishop.
2 - VISIT IN CHINA (open Church community)
Fr Patrice’ visit to China was intented to meet, first, the vicar general (Southern Church) and then North Church Priests. Divine Mercy Devotion is gaining influence. A young priest, spiritual director and profesor of systematic theology in the seminary is eager to participate to the forthcoming World Apostolic Congress on Mercy to be held in Krakow 2011. He has underlined the need for small groups to be spiritually conducted. It is clear for him that there is a need for more teachings and a real lack of books, translations to promote Divine Mercy. We keep in touch.
3 - STOP IN HONG KONG
Three years ago, an official committee has been constitued with the support of the local Bishop and under spiritual guidance of the Diocesis Chancelor. In coordination with a Jesuite of Macao, they ’re expecting to publish, may be next year, the diary of Sister Faustina in chinese language.
4 - ASIAN APOSTOLIC CONGRESS ON MERCY
More than 2500 registered attendees gathered for this 3-day Congress, among them delegations from Malaysia, Indonesia, Bruneï, Singapore, Taïwan, Korea, India, Cambodia (including the Vicar General),Thaïlandia (three priests) Birmania, Laos, Vietnam, Guam Island (30 persons) and last but no least China (23 Mainland China priests, consecrated religious and catechists)
Many Catholic structures were represented, such as solidarity services, catechetical offices, Salesians, Jesuits, Dominicans and New Religious Movements such as Fundacio… Even monks (bhikkhuni and bhikkhu) coming from two Buddhist Monasteries were attending the Asian Congress. Fr Patrice was invited to visit their monastery and they reiterated their consideration for the convincing profoundness of the Divine Mercy message particularly Sister Faustinas prayer to become merciful. Their Venerable Master, wellknown in Asia, is likely to address a Divine Mercy Congress.
In Manila, many Christian volunteers were mobilized after the floods to match overwhelming needs and also get involved in microcredit help to the Poorest. Many testimonies focused on the increasing attention payed to the poorest including for instance visit to prisonners.
Mons. Ramirez, WACOM Coordinator for Asia (assisted by Mary Anawim), know how to manage untiring, compassionate and efficient teams. Divine Mercy shrines are now developping throughout the country and particularly in Manila thanks to His Excellency and in Cacayan de Oro, in the Province of Misamis Oriental in Northern Mindanao. The shrine has a 50-foot statue of the Divine Mercy Christ and serves as a pilgrimage site.
All Bishops emphasized the need of formation. On that occasion, they announced for 2010 a National Congress in Philippines which is sure to be a great event.
An amazing information was reported by two priests, from a chineses diocesis, they were blessed by their local Bishop (and the civil authorities) to oversee the construction of a Divine Mercy Shrine - to their knowledge, the first one dedicated to DM in China - they raised funds from generous donators : « We are here on behalf of the Universal Church » trying through Divine Mercy devotion to achieve peace and reconciliation between the « Underground » Church and the « Patriotic Church ».
During the conclusing Evening, one of the most significant issues raised among the young delegation invited to the Congress through a Youth Day Forum was the creation of a Divine Mercy dedicated AsianYouth Group.
The Asian Committee closed the Congress with great hope of organizing National Congress in each country in collaboration with their own Bishops.
Within a year, through "Mercy Press", Jorge Roca, who accompagnied Fr Patrice in this mission, will be able to help providing them with full publication on Divine Mercy.
5 - MEETING WITH AUSTRALIAN COORDINATORS
Thanks to the help provided by Suzanne Austin, a lay apostle, participant of the First Apostolic Congress on Mercy, an Australian Committee has been settled gathered with the agreement of His Eminence Cardinal Pell including many blessing letters coming from all part of Australia. It was the first time (due to the huge size of the territory) Australian delegations conducted by Suzanne Austin and John Canavan were able to meet. A National Congress will be held sometime in 2011.
6 - FRUITFUL MEETING WITH THAI COMMITTEE
The General secretary took advantage in Bangkok of a 6-hours pause between two flights to meet the whole committee and also the Secretary of the Bishops’conference of Taïland
Divine Mercy groups in Bangkok (nearly 30 parishes) represent 60 per 100 of the Catholics. A national Congress should be held for 2010.
7 - ETABLISHEMENT OF A NEW COMMITTEE IN MADRAS (India)
The Auxiliary bishop of Madras and Fr Michael Raj, from St Paul Institute, already involved in Divine Mercy Shrine in Madras have been appointed as coordinators. A first Committee meeting has been initiated gathering many people from Southern India. Bishops are considering the possibility of helding a national Congress in India. Unfortunenatly, due to Diocesan engagement, His Excelency Mons. Penha, Bishop of Bombay, couldn’t join us.
Fr Patrice remains very grateful for the support received from the Episcopat, from past and present coordinators, from Lay apostles and generous donators. He thanks God for such a wonderful year of hope.
Rejoicing for the Holy Father’s decision to open the way to John Paul II’s beatification and asking the help of the Great Mercy Pope to foster the universalization of the Divine Mercy mission,
WACOM Assistant to General Secretary