October 2, 2015:
Pope Francis said in a proclamation titled “Misericordiae Vultus” (“The Face of mercy”) he wants the year, which will begin Dec. 8, to be a time for Catholics to contemplate just how merciful God has been to them and to understand better how they are called to be merciful to others in turn.
Mercy is a central part of the Gospel. In Psalm 51:1-2, David cries out, "Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin." Mercy is about forgiving those who repent, and mercy is about compassion.
Pope Francis called it the “balm of mercy”, and asked that it reach everyone as a sign that the kingdom of God is already in our midst.
This is a call to be present, a call to take practical measures that spread the ointments of compassion and mercy.
MaterCare International, in dedication to the Year of Mercy, is strengthening its efforts to continue Project Isiolo and begin work on the much needed fistula hospital. We are called to be merciful, and we can think of no greater act of mercy than caring for the neglected and suffering mothers of our world.
We extend an invitation to ALL Catholic medical professionals and Catholic organizations to participate in this as a joint project.
Pope Francis asked that every diocese in the world designate a “Door of Mercy” at their cathedral or another special church or shrine. Let our door of mercy be one to a hospital that serves the needs of its patients while maintaining their procreative and gynecological health.
For medical professionals, we can practice repentance, review our actions and past wrongs, commit to change, and be transformed by God’s mercy. Perhaps, even more, with our patients we ourselves can embody compassion.
-Dr. Robert Walley