In response to St. John Paul II’s frequent calls to evangelize the world, faithful and clergy from around the world will gather for the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy this August.
The congress, charged with encouraging and promoting the spirituality of God’s mercy across every continent, will gather Aug. 15-19 in Bogota, Columbia, for its third meeting. The congress met in Rome in 2008 and in Krakow in 2011 with more than 3,500 participants.
The congress was born in response to St. John Paul II’s 1980 encyclical “Dives in Misericordia” (“Rich in Mercy”) in which he invited the Church to mercy and mandated evangelization. The call continues under Pope Francis who urges faithful to “go forth.”
Before Pope Francis was selected pontiff in March 2013, he was known for urging faithful to “avanti,” meaning “go forth” in Italian. As pope, he published the apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”) in November when he discussed the need for the Church to go out into the world and share her faith.
In that same spirit, the congress will convene and invites priests, consecrated men and women, movements and lay faithful to attend. In a letter dated April 2, 2014, the congress committee invited the Denver Archdiocese to be participants.
During the five-day congress, participants will explore the mystery of mercy and mission of the Church through conferences, testimonials, workshops, Mass and prayer. The conferences will recognize the Church’s work to manifest the mercy of God and strengthen the Church’s mission in truth and justice.
An initial reception will be held Aug. 14 followed by a program with a series of talks and liturgies. On Aug. 15 the topic will be “Mercy to the service of peace in Colombia”; Aug. 16 “Mercy in the Document of Aparecida”; on Aug. 17 a consecration of the world to the Divine Mercy; and on Aug. 18 a Stations of the Cross at the Cathedral of Zipaquirá, a church built underground in a salt mine.
For more information and to register, visit www.wacomcolombia.org.
World Apostolic Congress on Mercy III
When: Aug. 15-19
Where: Bogota, Colombia
Registration, program and videos: www.wacomcolombia.org