Today the Church commemorates Saint jerome Emiliani (1481-1537), Venetian soldier who founded the Clerks Regular of Somascha, dedicated to the poor and the education of youth and is patron of orphans and abandoned children.
“O God, Father of mercies, who sent Saint jerome Emiliani as a helper and father to orphans, grant, through his intercession, that we may preserve faithfully the spirit of adoption, by which we are called, and truly are, your children.”
Also today the Church commemorates Saint Josephine Bakhita (1868-1947), kidnapped and enslaved Sudanese girl, brought to Italy as a nanny, where she was baptized “Giuseppina” and eventually joined the Canossian Daughters of Charity, where she served for some 50 years as cook, seamstress, and portress, canonized in 2000 a a witness to evangelical reconciliation and freedom.
“O God, who led Saint Josephine Bakhita from abject slavery to the dignity of being your daughter and a bride of Christ, grant, we pray, that by her example we may show constant love for the Lord Jesus crucified, remaining steadfast in charity and prompt to show compassion.”
Jubilee Year of Mercy
Every Catholic can actively participate in the Year of Mercy by making a pilgrimage through the Holy Door or by simply performing small acts of mercy in one’s daily life. Each season throughout the year, we’ll suggest one corporal act of mercy and one spiritual act of mercy.
As we prepare for and start lent, we invite you to focus on:
Comforting the Afflicted
This spiritual work of mercy highlights an act of charity that is often neglected. Rather than comforting others, many are inclined to either solve the “problem” or dismiss a persons suffering entirely. Seeing others suffer can be uncomfortable. As Easter approaches and you encounter someone in your life who is suffering, seek to truly listen and provide compassion. Not only does the afflicted person feel “heard”, but you will present an image of Christ, who bore all of our sufferings on the cross.
Sheltering the Homeless
There are approximately 1,500 homeless individuals living in the Knoxville area, including some families with children. In partnership with Catholic Charities, Elizabeth’s Homes in a local organization that helps families make the transition from homelessness by providing supportive housing. The program was named in honor of the late Mercy Sister Elizabeth Riney, an advocate for the poor in Knoxville.
Elizabeth’s Homes has a great need for grocery store gift cards, household cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene products. Their low-income clients also struggle with their utility bills during the winter months. KUB payment centers around town now offer KUB gift cards in any amount. Immaculate Conception will be collecting these items (along with cloth grocery bags which they use to distribute supplies) between now and March 12th. Please place cleaning and personal hygiene supplies in the collection box near the entrance of the church. KUB and grocery gift cards can be donated in the collection baskets during Mass, or dropped off at the church office.