Diocesan News

Year of Mercy reflection with Fr. Jacques Philippe

LINCOLN (SNR) - Internationally-known author and retreat master Father Jacques Philippe will give a holy hour reflection on “Forgiveness” Dec. 13, at 4 p.m. in the John XXIII Diocesan Center, 3700 Sheridan Blvd, Lincoln.

Father Philippe comes as the Church begins an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, a special year for the Church proclaimed by Pope Francis, who said, “How much I desire that the year to come will be steeped in mercy, so that we can go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God! May the balm of mercy reach everyone, both believers and those far away, as a sign that the Kingdom of God is already present in our midst!” (Misericordiae Vultus 3, Bull of Indiction)

The theme of the Year of Mercy also challenges all to be “Merciful Like the Father” (Luke 15).  Forgiveness is one of the more difficult, yet more important teachings of Jesus, an important step for people to regain control of their lives and freedom from grudges, resentment and self-defeating habits. 

“Very often we feel restricted in our situation, our family, or our surroundings,” Father Philippe said. “But maybe the real problem lies elsewhere: in our hearts.” (“Interior Freedom,” p.20)

Father Philippe entered the Community of the Beatitudes in France in 1976. Through his work as a spiritual director and preaching retreats, he consolidated his principal themes into books on spirituality - which have now sold more than 500,000 copies in 18 languages. His website, “A guide for the spiritual life,” is available at www.frjacquesphilippe.com.

Some of his best-selling books include “Time for God,” “Interior Freedom,” “Searching for and Maintaining Peace” and recently “Thirsting for Prayer” and “The Way of Trust and Love - A Retreat Guided by St. Therese of Lisieux.” These and more of his books are available online or at Catholic bookstores.

Father Gary Coulter, director at Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House in Waverly, said when he scheduled Father Philippe to give a weekend retreat at the retreat house, “it filled up almost immediately.  Therefore he very generously offered to give this Holy Hour Reflection open to the public so that more people could hear him speak.”  

The holy hour Dec. 13 begins with Exposition at 4 p.m. in the John XXIII Center chapel, followed by Father Philippe’s reflection on “Forgiveness,” and by Benediction.  This Year of Mercy event is open to men and women of all ages.  No registration is required, but free-will offerings will be accepted.

The Good Counsel Retreat House schedule is available online at www.goodcounselretreat.com.

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