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Divine Mercy seen as promise of redemption
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Cathey Irey and Bill Maldonado, Eucharistic Apostles of Divine Mercy, hold the lay ministry's banner on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 11, 2021. (ALEEN STANTON | FC)

PORT ST. LUCIE  |  Many parishes throughout the Diocese of Palm Beach celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday on April 11, 2021, with Mass and hour dedicated in praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. 

Holy Family Church in Port St. Lucie participated in this celebration, with Mass led by Father George Kodiyanthara, parochial vicar and a priest of the Order of Discalced Carmelite Friars. He spoke about the Divine Mercy message to parishioners attending the Eucharistic celebration at Holy Family Church. 

“In the picture of Divine Mercy, Jesus has red and white rays flowing from his heart,” the priest said. “Red and white rays represent the blood and water that flowed from the heart of Jesus. For everyone who venerates the statue and prays before the picture of Divine Mercy, God promises to protect them not only throughout their life, but at the time of their death. When people come to me at confession, I remind them our God is a god of mercy, a god of compassion, a god of forgiveness. Whenever you repent of your sins, God forgives your sins and you experience the mercy of God. 

“Our Lord, Jesus Christ, gave the world a promise of redemption, ‘Divine Mercy,’ for all repentant sinners,” he continued. “What a gift from Our Lord. It is never too late as long as one is alive to repent and change your path in life to one that leads to God.”

Following the Mass parishioners prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 3 p.m., considered the Hour of Great Mercy, followed by adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The rosary is used to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and on each large bead at the beginning of each decade, the leader prays, “Eternal Father, I offer you the body and blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.” The faithful answer, “In atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.” On each of the ten beads the leader prays, “For the sake of our sorrowful passion,” and the faithful answer, “Have mercy on us and on the whole world.”  

The Divine Mercy message was first revealed to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun who was later canonized a saint by St. John Paul II in 2000. St. Faustina, titled the great Apostle of Divine Mercy, noted these divine revelations in her diary from the years 1931 to 1938. In these entries, Jesus revealed to St. Faustina words such as these, “I am love and mercy itself. Let no soul fear to draw near to me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is greater than your sins, and those of the entire world. I let my Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come then with trust to draw graces from this fountain. The graces of my mercy are drawn by the means of one vessel only, and that is trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive” (entry 1074). 

The Lord also commanded that an image with red and white rays coming from the body of Jesus be painted and venerated throughout the world, as well the Chaplet of Divine Mercy be prayed by all those seeking his mercy. Another entry of St. Faustina’s diary reads, “Souls who honor my mercy, at the hour of death, I shall not be their judge, but the merciful savior.” 

In accordance with this message, the Eucharistic Apostles of Divine Mercy at Holy Family Church meet every Friday after the 8 a.m. Mass to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. 

Wilhelminda (Willie) Peralt, ministry leader of the Eucharistic Apostles of Divine Mercy, introduced this devotion to the parish after visiting the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.

“God’s mercy is always there for us. There is always hope for a sinner. God always forgives, and when he forgives you, you cannot go back doing the same thing; you have to change,” Peralt said. “With God’s mercy, you can do that. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is a wonderful prayer to accompany adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.” 

Cathey Irey, a member of the Eucharistic Apostles of Divine Mercy, prays the rosary and chaplet faithfully. “I have gone through a lot of pitfalls in my life, but when I think of the suffering that St. Faustina went through, my little suffering is nothing. I always trust in Jesus.”

Bill Maldonado prays the chaplet with the homebound, especially if they are ill or dying. “God promises to intervene at the time of death with mercy to the dying. It is important they know his love at the time of their passing.” 

2 diocesan seminarians among the 12 to be ordained as transitional deacons
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Nine men will be ordained to the transitional diaconate at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach April 17, 2021. They include Donald Amodeo, Zachary Brasseur, Daniel Donohue, Zackary Gray, José Grullón, Armando León, Kyle McClure, David Portorreal and Joseph Tran. Pictured here are, from back row left, Transitional Deacon Sebastián Grisales (Archdiocese of Miami), Portoreal (Diocese of Venice), Donohue (Diocese of Palm Beach), McClure and Gray (both of the Diocese of Orlando); from front row left Grullón (Diocese of Venice), Amodeo, Tran (Diocese of Orlando) and León (Diocese of Palm Beach). (COURTESY | ST. VINCENT DE PAUL REGIONAL SEMINARY)

BOYNTON BEACH  |  A total of 12 seminarians of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary are one step closer to the priesthood. 

On April 11, 2021, Archbishop Thomas Wenski ordained three archdiocesan semianrians at St. Mary Cathedral in Miami. On April 17, 2021, Bishop William A. Wack, CSC, of Pensacola-Tallahassee will ordain nine seminarians — including two from the Diocese of Palm Beach — as transitional deacons at the seminary in Boynton Beach. The liturgy will be livestreamed Saturday, April 17, 2021, at 11 a.m. at www.svdp.edu/live.

The nine men to be ordained at this Mass are from the following dioceses: Daniel Donohue and Armando León from Palm Beach; Donald Amodeo and Zachary Brasseur from St. Petersburg; Zackary Gray, Kyle McClure and Joseph Tran from Orlando; and José Grullón and David Portorreal from Venice. 

As newly ordained deacons, these men will be assigned to parishes where they will exercise their ministry in preparation to become priests in the following year. Among many duties, they will preach, perform baptisms, witness marriages, as well as preside over wakes and funerals.