The Mercy fever in Gizo Diocese, Solomon Islands

Bishop Luciano Capelli of Gizo, in the Solomon Islands, writes to us to share his joy over the celebration of the Jubilee of Mercy in this remote nation in Oceania:

The ‘MERCY FEVER’ which converts and globalizes the hearts proposed to us by Pope Francis to commit us to forgive others and challenge us to service and solidarity with all has reached the highest point in the thermometer here in Gizo at the center south Pacific region

The isolation of the parishes from the Gizo Diocesan Center makes it impossible for the people of the far away villages to reach the cathedral and the Holy Door of the Jubilee year

The pastoral team however did not give up the great opportunity offered to the faithful and proposed an easy and meaningful initiative “If the isolated faithful cannot go to the holy door at the cathedral, the holy door will go around the parishes and the villages to reach the isolated people”

The tour of the 14 villages ended today (May 12th 2016) after two intensive months with the diocesan boat – a 60 horse outboard motor – which braved the sea which has not always peaceful and cooperative

The welcome ceremony at sea has been very well prepared

  • The Holy door was preceded by the Cross and sided by the two banners with the Jubilee year logo
  • The village warriors gave the Cross and the door a real custom and hero welcome
  • There followed a liturgical celebration with a meditation on God’s words, and the celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation and Eucharist
  • The symbolic passing through the reconciliation door implied the acceptance of the gift of compassion received and the commitment to reconcile with one’s neighbors, and peace making among hostile groups. True peace we all believe passes through forgiveness freely received and given
  • The people have been prepared by the pastoral team on a previous visit and responded with unexpected enthusiasm

The Gizo priests have shared their happiness in seeing the people participate with all good will

In Melanesian social life “reconciliation-compensation” are key words and the ritual is central in the culture of the village social life, Faith provides the experience first in oneself and the sharing of that experience to others as a commitment to the Gift received

Never have the priests worked so hard as these two months as ministers of  reconciliation

How beautiful it is when we can experience reconciliation within ourselves and we share this gift to others… How beautiful it is when we can forgive each other and start again

Mistakes and conflicts can become moments encounter and of growth if faced with an open heart, motivated by faith and generosity

Luciano Capelli, Salesian of Don Bosco

Bishop of Gizo

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