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Apr 8, 2013

Hundreds gather in Franklin County for Divine Mercy Celebration


 

REGIONAL

Story and photos by Julie Beaulieu

GREENFIELD – Hundreds of parishioners from throughout Franklin County gathered at Blessed Sacrament Church in Greenfield for a Divine Mercy Celebration on Sunday, April 7.

Ten parishes participated in confessions, Benediction, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and a novena prayer.

Father Anthony Cullen, pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Shelburne Falls and mission parishes St. John the Baptist in Colrain and St. Christopher in Charlemont, celebrated Mass with a dozen concelebrants. Father Cullen gave a brief background on Divine Mercy Sunday.

“Divine Mercy Sunday, as we realize, actually started with Pope John Paul II, who introduced the whole idea,” Father Cullen said. “We learned about Sister Faustina, who then became St. Faustina, and the Sacred Heart message, focusing most fully on the mercy of Jesus.”

Father Cullen also was impressed with the turnout for the celebration.

“I’ve been in this deanery now nine months. I’m still sort of getting my feet wet. It’s my first year,” he said. “I was very impressed with the number of people who came out, and the lines for confession. To see so many people coming to adore the Divine Mercy, Jesus himself, (was) very, encouraging and very, very powerful.”

Deacon John Leary, who serves at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Greenfield, said the celebration has been going on for the last 20 years.

“It always gives me great joy to see the community come together,” Deacon Leary said. “We do this as a deanery and it involves all ten churches up here in Franklin County, and to have people, and representatives, from all of the churches come together as one, as a community, really does show us what church is all about: coming together as a community, praising God, asking for his mercy.”

Father José Bermudez, pastor of St. Mary Church in Orange, gave a homily entitled, “Why Go to Confession More Often?”

The event was sponsored by the Franklin County Deanery.