Saint Mary Cathedral Begins Divine Mercy Cenacles
By Deacon Guadalupe Rodriguez, Saint Mary Cathedral Director of Religious Education
Divine Mercy Cenacles started on April 10, 2010 and we have been meeting every Saturday at 1 P.M. at Saint Mary Cathedral @ Donahue Center Cafeteria. Each gathering will feature song, prayer, and study and discussion of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Holy Scripture and Jesus’ Divine Mercy message as given to St. Sister Mary Faustina of Krakow.
The meetings are open to anyone throughout the Austin Diocese, and more details are provided below.
What does the word “Cenacle” mean? Cenacles, being small faith-sharing communities, are as old as the Church itself. The idea contained in the word “cenacle” is derived from the meetings of our Lord’s followers in the upper room where He celebrated the Last Supper. (The Latin word for supper is cena.) It is also the place where His disciples received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost equipping them with the power to spread the gospel, the “Good News,” to evangelize.
What will the Divine Mercy Cenacle do for Catholics? First, it will deepen their Catholic faith as they study the Catechism. The Cenacle will also give them a more profound understanding of Scripture in light of Catholic Tradition. Last, it will enlighten us about Jesus’ Divine Mercy message, which the world so much needs to hear.
Devotion to Jesus’ Divine Mercy, and cenacles that facilitate its related prayers and learning, are based on Church-approved revelations of Jesus to Sr. Faustina in the 1930s.
Where Divine Mercy Cenacles have been begun, there has been an enormous amount of spiritual growth through regular prayer and learning, and increased fellowship among Catholics who otherwise might not feel the mutual support of their universal Christian family. Participants find themselves better equipped to live and spread the “Good News” of God’s love and mercy, as found in both the Old and New Testaments.
What book or curriculum will be used? The Cathedral Cenacle will use the Church-approved “Cenacle Formation Manual,” written by the Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy.
Is the message of Divine Mercy that important? Knowing the Catechism and Scripture are more important, since they teach us our faith and about our own salvation. Having said this, the Divine Mercy message is officially approved by the Church and it is important because Jesus instructed St. Faustina: “Speak to the world about My Mercy; let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign of the end of times; after it will come the day of justice.” [Diary 848]
Pope John Paul II often said that the Divine Mercy message was dear to him and that ours was an “age of mercy.” In his homilies and writings he described Divine Mercy as the answer to the world’s problems and the message of the Third Millennium. He also wrote an encyclical, “Rich in Mercy.”
“I’ve heard something from our priests concerning Divine Mercy Sunday, is this related to the Cenacle?” Yes, when Pope John Paul II canonized St. Faustina in 2000, he also surprised the world by establishing Divine Mercy Sunday(the feast associated with the message) as a feast for the entire Church. Divine Mercy Sunday is the Sunday after Easter. On the day he established the feast, he declared it “the happiest day of my life.”
What prayer will be prayed? At each weekly meeting we will pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, which only takes about 10 minutes. Jesus promised many graces of conversion to those who pray it and to those for whom it is prayed.
How powerful is the Divine Mercy devotion, in light of Jesus’ promises to St. Faustina? Jesus said: “Hardened sinners will repent on hearing words when (those devoted to the Divine Mercy) speak about My unfathomable mercy, about the compassion, I have for them in my heart…I will give them wondrous power; I will anoint their words and touch the hearts of those to whom they will speak.” [Diary 1521]
How will it benefit those who participate, in addition to those for whom they pray? The best way to benefit from the Divine Mercy message is to spread it. Jesus told St. Faustina, “Souls who spread the honor of My mercy I shield their entire lives as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the Merciful Savior.” [Dairy 1075]
What materials will I need for the cenacle? A Bible, the Catechism, and the Formation Manual, which will be provided to participants.
Is there is fee? Only for the materials, and financial assistance is available for those who cannot pay.
Is this a class that has a beginning and end? No, all are welcome to begin on any Saturday at their convenience.
What: Divine Mercy Cenacle
When: Every Saturday at 1 p.m.
Where: Saint Mary Cathedral – Donahue Center Cafeteria
Who: Deacon Guadalupe Rodriguez