Year of Mercy Videos

Our Holy Father Pope Francis has declared a Jubliee Year of Mercy so that the whole Church may embrace the mercy of Jesus Christ and bring that mercy to the world. During this special Year, we are focusing on the Corporal or Spiritual Works of Mercy, and each month Bishop Gary Gordon will spend a few moments looking at what we are doing for people in the Diocese of Victoria.


Videos


Bury the Dead: Gold River, BC

"And so cemeteries are a vital part of our lives as Christians. It’s where we can remember, where we can visit the marker of our loved one. And so, my dear brothers and sisters, the Corporal Work of burying the dead is not something of practical note, but it is so important for the soul, for the spirit, and for our deep respect for what God has created: our human bodies and our souls."

~ Bishop Gary Gordon

~ Click here to download the transcript for Bury the Dead

In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are once again looking at the wonderful Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

    One of the Corporal works of Mercy, a long tradition of the Church, is burying the dead. I’m standing here in the cemetery in Gold River, in the pouring rain. This is important: that we take care of our loved ones.

    Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and so we’ve always had, in our tradition, a great respect for the body. Even in death, we show respect for that temple.

    It’s also a great way of showing respect for the family who is grieving. When we take care of their loved ones in a good way, when we take care of looking after them with our funeral services in our Christian tradition, we use the holy water to remind us of our baptism, and we know that we are made of the earth and go back to the earth.

    And so cemeteries are a vital part of our lives as Christians. It’s where we can remember, where we can visit the marker of our loved one. And so, my dear brothers and sisters, the Corporal Work of burying the dead is not something of practical note, but it is so important for the soul, for the spirit, and for our deep respect for what God has created: our human bodies and our souls.

    As we live this Jubilee Year of Mercy, let us take time to go to the funerals of our loved ones. Let us take time to pay respect. Let us take time to visit those who are grieving, who are longing for their loved ones.

    The Jubilee Year is a year of mercy. To bury the dead is a Corporal Work of Mercy.

    God bless you in this Jubilee Year of Mercy.

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Forgive Offences Willingly: Sacred Heart Church, Victoria, BC

"There is no limitation to the mercy of our heavenly Father. There is no ‘too many sins’, there is no such thing as “I cannot get forgiven.” And so, we are invited, as his body, the body of Christ, to forgive as our Heavenly Father forgives."

~ Bishop Gary Gordon

 

Click here to download the transcript of Forgive Offences Willingly

My dear brothers and sisters,

In the Jubilee Year of Mercy, we have been looking at and considering the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. 

    Today I’m standing in front of the doors of Sacred Heart Church in Victoria to speak to you about the spiritual work of mercy, Forgive Offences Willingly.

    Indeed, these two images, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the door, become powerful images for forgiveness of offences. It is Jesus Christ, who in his own heart, given to the world by his Father, has forgiven all offences willingly. There is no limitation to the mercy of our heavenly Father. There is no ‘too many sins’, there is no such thing as “I cannot get forgiven.” And so, we are invited, as his body, the body of Christ, to forgive as our Heavenly Father forgives. Willingly, not grudgingly, not ‘because I have to’, but we willingly embrace this path of Christ, which is the path of his own heart, the path of his love.

    Standing here at the doors of the church becomes an image, a powerful image, of the door to Christ’s heart, an opening to forgiveness. As human beings, we are frail, fragile, weak, and sometimes it is very hard to forgive, even those grave offences. It’s hard. I know that it’s difficult.

    But this is who we follow: Jesus Christ. So it’s really an invitation: the spiritual work of mercy, to forgive offences willingly. Not ‘maybe’, but to really allow the power of the Spirit to guide us, to direct us and to help us to forgive those things that are hard to forgive. To forgive offences, to take the road of Christ, and to allow his heart to become our heart, so that the human heart and the human family can be healed and become one.

    God bless you, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

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Counsel the Doubtful: Victoria, BC

"So to counsel the doubtful is primarily to give hope: to give a message of hope; the hope of the value, the grace, the gift of this earth; the hope of human life; the hope that God has instilled in our hearts by our very creation; the hope that has been ratified in Jesus Christ, who has given his life to show us of what value we are."

~ Bishop Gary Gordon

~ Click here to download the transcript of Counsel the Doubtful

My dear sisters and brothers,

I’m standing in front of the British Columbia Legislature where we have just completed a March for Life. In this particular Jubilee Year of Mercy that we are celebrating for a whole year, we are looking at the Spiritual and the Corporal works of mercy.

    Today I want to talk about the Spiritual work of mercy Counsel the Doubtful. This is really to inform and to help bring the fullness of the truth of Jesus Christ in the Gospel, the Gospel of Life, to bear upon our world.

    Sometimes people have a lot of questions. They have questions of faith; they have questions that cause doubt in their souls, and their hearts. We live in times that are often troubled; people have an awful lot of anxiety and suffering. So to counsel the doubtful is primarily to give hope: to give a message of hope; the hope of the value, the grace, the gift of this earth; the hope of human life; the hope that God has instilled in our hearts by our very creation; the hope that has been ratified in Jesus Christ, who has given his life to show us of what value we are.

    And so, this spiritual work of counselling the doubtful is really to give hope—to engender hope in peoples’ hearts and souls. That’s what the March for Life was here at the Legislature of British Columbia. It is to provide, to pronounce and to witness to the grace of hope, to the love of God, and the help of all people for those who are vulnerable and unwell.

    Counsel the doubtful. Brothers and sisters, do not doubt God’s love. Do not doubt the power of hope. Do not doubt the power of solidarity in communion with all of life in God’s creation.

    Thank you so much, in this Jubilee Year of Mercy.

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Instruct the Uninformed: Chemainus, BC

"In this beautiful Jubilee Year of Mercy, when we consider the spiritual work of instructing the uninformed, it is about love. It is about mercy. It is about a way of relationship and communion that creates the greatest moments of instruction . . ."

~ Bishop Gary Gordon

~ Click here to download the transcript for Instruct the Uninformed

My dear brothers and sisters,

    In the Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are speaking about the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Today I am at St. Joseph’s Elementary School in Chemainus, speaking about the spiritual work of mercy Instruct the Uninformed. 

    Indeed, when we read the Gospel stories about Jesus, we find that he is most often called ‘teacher’, or ‘rabbi’. This is because the work of Jesus Christ was to instruct, to teach. How did that teaching come about? It was because Jesus formed relationships of compassion and love.

    We are in this beautiful season of Easter [at the time of filming], and we are considering that Jesus is the risen Saviour, the Good Shepherd, who continues to instruct us. We use such vehicles as Catholic schools like St. Joseph’s in Chemainus, and catechetical programs in parishes. All of these are instruments, not so much of bringing information, but rather creating relationship—the relationship that is founded in Jesus Christ, who wants us to be in communion.

    Parents know that all instruction they bring to their children is really about the work of love, kindness and gentleness. So in this beautiful Jubilee Year of Mercy, when we consider the spiritual work of instructing the uninformed, it is about love. It is about mercy. It is about a way of relationship and communion that creates the greatest moments of instruction, and bringing to new life to the words of Jesus Christ, “I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full.”

    God bless you in this Jubilee Year of Mercy.

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Visit the Imprisoned: Victoria, BC

"In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are invited to transcend our fears, to go beyond, indeed to reach out with the love, the compassion and the mercy of Jesus Christ, even to those who are in prison."

~ Bishop Gary Gordon

~ Click here to download the transcript for Visit the Imprisoned

My dear sisters and brothers,

    We’re standing outside Wilkinson Road Provincial Jail. With me is Reverend Garry Dombroski, President of the Interfaith Committee for Corrections Canada. Together we have worked for many years to provide good pastoral care for inmates right across this country.

    One of the great works of mercy, a corporal work of mercy, is to 'Visit the Prisoner'. People might wonder, Why would you visit a prisoner? Because they are the brothers and the sisters of Jesus Christ. Jesus himself was a prisoner. Indeed, the work of visiting prisoners is to accompany people to restore, to redeem, and to reconcile.

    Garry, you might just comment on what that reconciliation looks like in Canada right now.

In our prisons, and in our communities, there are lots of Christian people, people of faith who practice what we do in the Church every Sunday—confession, absolution, talk about healing—and in our prisons we really see that so clearly as we work for justice. We work not just to tell the sinner they’re ‘bad’, but work for their healing. Restorative justice, as we know it, is about healing the prisoner, healing the victim, also, something more important, healing the community.

    Thank you, Garry. You know, this is probably one of the hardest of the corporal works of mercy, because of fear. People are afraid of people who have committed crime, and rightly so. This fear must be overcome, as Jesus himself faced the fear of his own death, his own suffering. He faced the fear of sickness and disease. One of the great gifts of the Christian community is that we face our fears, that we go across the road, that we take time to accompany all those who are in need of the loving mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are invited to transcend our fears, to go beyond, indeed to reach out with the love, the compassion and the mercy of Jesus Christ, even to those who are in prison.

    Thank you very much, and God bless you in this Jubilee Year of Mercy.

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Warn of spiritual dangers: Victoria, BC

"In this season of Lent, maybe it’s time to slow down, to think about the path we’re on, to listen closely to the Gospel. Maybe to repent, to turn to the Lord in the His infinite mercy for us, so that we can be embraced and held tightly by the Lord Jesus Christ.

~ Bishop Gary Gordon

~ Click here to download the transcript for Warn of spiritual dangers

My dear brothers and sisters,

    I’m standing here on a speed bump in the parking lot of Sacred Heart Parish in Victoria, BC. You might wonder what a speed bump has to do with the spiritual works of mercy. Well, today is Ash Wednesday, and we’re thinking about the spiritual work of mercy warn of spiritual dangers.

    It’s a little bit like a speed bump. The Gospel of Jesus Christ gives us good teachings. It tells us how to walk on this earth. It gives us a Way, and it’s sometimes a bit of a warning, too. Don’t go down that path, it’s going to be dangerous! Don’t cross that road, you’re going to get hurt. A speed bump is a sign: slow down.

    In this season of Lent, maybe it’s time to slow down, to think about the path we’re on, to listen closely to the Gospel. Maybe to repent, to turn to the Lord in the His infinite mercy for us, so that we can be embraced and held tightly by the Lord Jesus Christ.

    The spiritual and corporal works of mercy are a path. Today we’re thinking about, looking at, considering, the warnings that the Gospel gives us. The Ten Commandments are a path of love to keep us from going too fast. To keep us from straying, to keep us from falling in a pothole, or going into the ditch. A speed bump: a good image of the spiritual work of mercy, to warn of spiritual dangers.

    God bless you in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, and may the Lord embrace you and continue to guide you.

    Amen.

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Visit the sick: St. Joseph's General Hospital, Comox BC

"We take care of people. We look after them. We have just opened a new hospice here at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Why? Because it is in those moments when we are so weak, when we are on our journey home to heaven, that we need the most care."

~ Bishop Gary Gordon

~ Click here to download the transcript for Visit the Sick

My dear sisters and brothers,

    In this Jubilee Year of Mercy we are looking at the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Right now I’m standing in the foyer of St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Comox on Vancouver Island. This hospital represents one of the clear aspects of mercy, Visiting the Sick, taking care of those who are in great need.

    This hospital has been here since 1913, started by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto. Now, the Diocese of Victoria continues to run this hospital. It it is my privilege and pleasure to not only  tell you about the great work of this hospital, but also about the great work that so many Catholic people do throughout this Diocese in visiting the sick, in bringing comfort—the comfort of a warm smile, the comfort of the Sacraments of the Sick.

    St. James says in the Scriptures, “Is there anyone sick among you? Let them call for the elders of the Church, let them them pray over them and anoint them in the name of the Lord.” This prayer, made in faith, will save the sick person, and if they have committed any sins, they will be forgiven. 

    The Year of Mercy is a time to recall a great tradition of our Church. It is to visit the sick. It is to take care of those who are weak. Indeed, we always look after people, from the moment of conception to natural end. We take care of people. We look after them. We have just opened a new hospice here at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Why? Because it is in those moments when we are so weak, when we are on our journey home to heaven, that we need the most care.

    And so, my dear brothers and sisters, in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, visiting the sick is one of those great works that we as a Christian people have always valued and highly prized—in the many religious communities, the many priests and brothers who have built hospitals, who have run hospitals, who have taken care of the sick, who have visited those who are weak.

God bless you in this Jubilee Year of Mercy.

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Feed the hungry: 9-10 Soup Kitchen, Victoria BC

"It’s not just the nourishment of the food, is it? It’s really about nourishing the soul and it’s about creating friendship. People don’t come here as clients. No one is a client. We are friends; we are brothers and sisters; we treat one another as guests with that great dignity of the human person."

~ Bishop Gary Gordon

~ Click here to download the transcript for Feed the hungry

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

    We have entered into the Jubilee Year of Mercy,  and once again we are able to spend a few moments looking at what the Church does for people.

    I’m standing here with Sheila Connolly, who is the Coordinator of the 9-10 Soup Club here at Seghers Hall at St. Andrew's Cathedral. She also is the Team Leader on Wednesday mornings. So here we are on Wednesday morning, having just fed about 150 people a wonderful, nourishing meal, from 8:30 AM until 10 AM. 

    Why is this important? Because one of the Corporal Works of Mercy is to feed the hungry. This is an essential work. This organization here at the 9-10 Club has been going for 33 years. This is the commitment of the Church, not only in the Diocese of Victoria, but here in the Cathedral: a tremendous work.

    We are standing in the brand-new kitchen that was renovated about a year ago. And why was it renovated? Why was the hall renovated? To provide a better place for our guests from the downtown city corner of Victoria to be nourished. And it’s not just the nourishment of the food, is it? It’s really about nourishing the soul and it’s about creating friendship. People don’t come here as clients. No one is a client. We are friends; we are brothers and sisters; we treat one another as guests with that great dignity of the human person.

    The Corporal Works of Mercy. Taking care of people. Feeding the hungry. Nourishing the soul. Loving our brothers and sisters. Sheila, this is the work of God. Thank you so much, and God bless you.

~ Click here for more information about the 9-10 Soup Kitchen

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House the homeless: Rosalie's Village, Victoria BC

December, 2015

"Our Holy Father Pope Francis has declared a Year of Mercy so that the whole Church may embrace the mercy of Jesus Christ and bring that mercy to the world. Mercy is simply not a word, nor is it an idea, it is something that means that we enter into another's life, that we enter into peoples' brokenness and suffering to be a 'hand up', not just a 'hand out'."

~ Bishop Gary Gordon

~ Click here to download the transcript for 'Shelter the homeless' at Rosalie's Village

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, 

  On Friday, December 8, 2016, we began the Jubilee Year of Mercy. This Year has been declared by our Holy Father, Pope Francis, so that the whole Church may embrace the mercy of Jesus Christ, and bring that mercy to the world.

    Mercy is simply not a word, nor is it an idea. It is something that means we enter into another’s life, that we enter into peoples’ brokenness and suffering, to be a ‘hand up’, not just a ‘hand out’.

    I’m standing here on the construction site of Rosalie’s Village, a project of Saint Vincent de Paul, in which over 40 women and children in transition will be housed. This kind of a project is what it means to be involved in mercy. It isn’t just nice words or pious platitudes. It is concrete. It is labour. It is hard work. It is hard hats! To be able to take care of people means that you are going to help them practically. You’re going to really become their brothers and sisters.

    The Year of Mercy is an opportunity for the whole Church to enter into a deep relationship with those in need, so that we truly become brothers and sisters on this planet. You can hear the saws in the background; you can hear the hammers. The Year of Mercy is very practical. It is really all about taking care of one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. This is going to be a Year during which the Kingdom of God is truly going to be built: the whole world is going to know the outpouring of mercy, which is incarnate in Jesus Christ.

    God bless you, and may enter this Year with a new resolve to be the merciful face of Jesus to the world.

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