Sacrament of Reconciliation
compiled by Sr Sarah Akombo, fsp
The celebration of the sacrament of Reconciliation brings about healing in the penitents and enables them to live a life of holiness, by being moulded more into the image of Christ as they listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. This Sacrament gives us energy and strength in our life-long journey of conversion both at individual and family levels. The call to conversion, which is renewed for us in many ways, is also directed towards joining in the eternal banquet with all the saints. Through conversion, we keep alive the light of faith that we have received in baptism in order to enter the wedding feast wearing the baptismal garment.
The Sacraments of healing (Reconciliation and Anointing of the sick) play a very important part in the life of the Christian community and yet they are not fully understood. The sacrament of reconciliation is the story of a God who never turns away from us, not even when we fail to live in communion with him. God’s mercy, compassion and love are always greater and stronger than our selfishness and egoism. In fact, God reaches out to us in our sinful situation and brings healing into our life. Like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, God waits, watches, and hopes for our return every time we choose to turn away from him and live our life according to our self-centered plans. Like the son in the parable, we are called to recognize our sinfulness, especially during this Lenten season, which is very important penitential time which, if it is properly celebrated, can truly renew the Christian community in its baptismal calling. The penitential dimension of lent, in fact, must be seen within the wider context of the preparation of catechumens for the sacraments of initiation and the desire of the church to renew in the baptismal promises.
To return to our father, and welcome God’s love in our broken life (cf. Lk 15: 14-32). Then we will be able to celebrate the joy of forgiveness, the joy of being saved and restored to our baptismal identity as beloved sons and daughters of the father, brothers and sisters of Christ, anointed and consecrated by the Holy Spirit to be members of the ecclesial Body of the Lord. God’s unconditional offer of forgiveness is at the basis of this sacrament. The risen Lord, through the church, continues to speak to us of his forgiveness and of our beautiful and challenging calling to conversion and holiness. Our daily experience of sin leads us to know the power of God’s grace, the mercy that is bestowed on us as well as the joy of being once again reconciled and renewed. Then, together with the whole church, we can sing the great Alleluia at Easter.
In his Message for the 51st World Communication Day: “Fear not, I’m with you”. Communicating hope and trust in our time (28 may 2017), Holy Father Francis says: “I would like to encourage everyone to engage in constructive forms of communication that reject prejudice towards others and foster a culture of encounter, helping all of us to view the world around us with realism and trust”. Read more>>>
Sr Bruna Fregni, Fr Patrick Alumuku and the Catholic Television (CTV) Team, Abuja
7 images for a creative communication. Pope Francis invites communicators to assume the style and language of Jesus, who made use of comparable or at least the images of daily life, to express the mysteries of the Kingdom. He himself uses 7 symbolic images, very interesting:
Read and download 7 Images for a creative communication.pdf
Sr Amarachi, fsp recording a radio programme
Since 2006, in Italy, the Pauline Sisters and the Saint Paul Fathers organize the Communication Festival in itinerant form in the cities that welcome the proposal not to let fall into oblivion the Communications Day. The Festival is a traveling exhibition, which takes place at the local level, for about 7-8 days, each year in a different diocese, but one that has national significance, and a pastoral opportunity of great importance, since, in its organizational formula, it becomes a catalyst of energy and a form of involvement of all the vital elements of a diocese, making visible that communications applies to all areas of ministry.
The general programme involves a collaboration with the candidate diocese where appropriate communicative activities are held with appointments involving institutions, associations, universities, organizations and cultural clubs, the press, radio and TV, sponsors.
5 “ways” of human communication
Events and initiatives find their implementation in accordance with the 5 “ways” of human communication:
- The Way of Knowledge, which involves biblical, philosophical aspects of communication; in this way the people participate in conferences, meetings, roundtables a about social communication questions;
- The Way of Beauty, feeding the artistic and spiritual aspects, with guided visits to churches and museums;
- The Way of Language, which offers topics related to the different media forms of expression; the schools are engaged in “happy book”, a nice laboratory about book reading, news media, music, movie and team games, prizes…
- The Way of Solidarity that recalls the experience of cooperation, non-profit groups and associations; this is a space to give voice to the voiceless and raise funds for charity projects;
- The Way of Aggregation that enhances the convivial aspects of communicating, wherever one finds oneself – at the table, in the streets … at parties and on social occasions.
Depending on the theme chosen for the day, these locations afford opportunities for people to explore different issues and interact in a meaningful way.
“Give wings to the Gospel” (Venerable Tecla Merlo).
We need your support to subsidize the African Bible. You can donate to subsidize as many copies as possible to enable families, individuals, catechists and seminarians afford a copy of the African Bible. God bless you abundantly for your generous support.
Donations: Daughters of St Paul: First bank, a/c 3049040103.
Cheque: Daughters of St Paul.
Paulines Book and Media Center, Kado-Kuchi, Abuja. Tel. +2348074795539, 08074795569.
The Pauline Sisters often organise book displays and Bible Days in parishes, schools, seminaries, during workshops and seminars, and in many other places.
Download the New African Bible project
Paulines Publications Africa W.A is the website of the Paulines Sisters in West Africa, the editorial activity of the Daughters of Saint Paul in this country.
Pauline Sisters and Pauline Cooperators in Lagos
The Paulines are presents in many countries of Africa: Angola, Congo DRC, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, but through their publications they reach many parts of the African continent, including countries where they are not, such as, Cameroon, Ghana, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. In Nigeria we are present in Abuja and Lagos, with our Paulines Books and Media Centre in each of the two cities, and a publishing house in Abuja. Read more>>>
«May the Lord bless you and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May he look upon you kindly and give you peace!».
Barrister Frank Chude, Chairperson of the Pauline Cooperators, Abuja taking a reading at Mass
As we celebrate the XXXIV Meeting of the General Governments of the Pauline Family, our thoughts turn to each of you as the celebration of the Centenary of foundation of the Association of Pauline Cooperators (30 june 1917-30 june 2017) approaches. Through this letter, we hope you will feel us close to you and that you will also feel the esteem that the whole Pauline Family has for your Association. May the celebration of this year of grace lead to a relaunching and consolidation of both the identity and mission of the Cooperators. With gratitude, we look back on the past and with boldness we strain toward the future. The challenge that we want to face with you in this time is that of moving ahead as the Pauline Family, united in spirit and aware of the abundant wealth the Lord has poured out upon us–wealth that we hope will have a greater impact and broader radius on the whole people of God. In celebrating this Centenary, whose program will be communicated to you in the near future by the Inter-congregational Commission set up to coordinate it, we want to invite you to ensure that all the events scheduled will not be self-referential, that is to say, that they not be directed only to the Pauline Family, but also directed to externs so as to help them get to know the treasures entrusted by the Church to this Association. May the Lord accompany us and unite us always more closely on our journey as the Pauline Family during this Centenary Year, in the spirit of our father St. Paul and under the protection of Blessed James Alberione.
Rome, 11 January 2017
The partecipants in the 34° meeting of the General Governments of the Pauline Family
Download: Pauline Cooperators Calendar 2017