Of Confessionals, Relics, & God’s Healing Mercy

During the recent Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis commissioned and sent out approximately 1,000 priests to serve as Missionaries of Mercy throughout the world, providing a tangible sign of the Father’s closeness and tenderness.

In his letter to close the year, our Holy Father wrote: “I thank every Missionary of Mercy for this valuable service aimed at rendering effective the grace of forgiveness. This extraordinary ministry does not end with the closing of the Holy Door. I wish it to continue until further notice as a concrete sign that the grace of the Jubilee remains alive and effective the world over.” Father Matthew Wertin, with the consent of Bishop Berg, has agreed to continue serving in this capacity for the sake of the faithful in the Diocese of Pueblo. 

He will receive a new Decree confirming the faculties already granted, which bestow the authority to pardon the following reserved sins: 1.) profaning the Eucharistic species by taking them away or keeping them for a sacrilegious purpose; 2.) use of physical force against the Roman Pontiff; 3.) absolution of an accomplice in a sin against the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue; 4.) a direct violation against the sacramental seal by a confessor. To help accommodate this ministry, he will be regularly posted at St. Pius X Parish in Pueblo on Saturdays from 2:30-3:30p.m., plus Tuesdays through Fridays at 5:30p.m. before the 6p.m. Mass. Pope Francis, having been called to the priesthood as a teenager through an experience of mercy he had in the confessional of his home parish, wishes us to help him build the culture of encounter, as we allow the Church to become more of a “field hospital after battle.” The Sacrament of Reconciliation provides a concrete and touching way of discovering Jesus anew. Another such place of encounter will be the new permanent home of our first-class relics of St. Blaise and St. Lucy in the vestibule of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Pueblo. As a key event in our 75th Anniversary celebrations, the unveiling ceremony on May 7 is meant to draw people and attention to this new place of pilgrimage, for the sake of mercy.

These two saints of healing will be interceding for our mission and our people in a very powerful way, indeed a very tangible way, as we reach out with devotion in the posture of poor beggars who are infinitely loved. Separately, though related, is the Relics Tour by Fr. Carlos Martins, CC, who is coming to finish sealing the bones in their reliquaries before put on display for veneration. As a part of his ministry, “Treasures of the Church,” he has approximately 150 small relics of various saints, which he travels with to catechize and bring new life to parishes and schools. Both opportunities are free, and more details forthcoming. With Mother Mary, let us pray in gratitude to Almighty God, that his living waters will continue coming to the aid of our spiritual family!