Today I attended the Second National Divine Mercy Conference, hosted by the Friends of Divine Mercy Scotland at the Catholic Chaplaincy of Glasgow University.
The conference was well attended and had a good list of speakers. These included Mark Shea, Bishop John Keenan and Father Pietr Prusakiewicz.
Mark Shea is a popular American author and blogger; a convert to the Catholic faith, he is well informed and very entertaining – he also presents his subjects very well. On this occasion, he spoke about the ‘care and feeding of the lay Catholic apostle’, which fits very well with the idea of New Evangelisation, a hot topic in the Church at the moment. He also asked to think about what evangelism looks like in our day, how we evangelise and to whom we evangelise. He spoke, too, about the stages of intentional discipleship, the nuptial language used by Jesus in the Gospels, and also the tendency of the Lord “to answer the questioner, not the question”, which was fascinating. Later in the day, he spoke about the Commandments, the Beatitudes, and the joyful life.
Bishop Keenan leads the Diocese of Paisley and is from the same mould as our Holy Father, Pope Francis, believing in a Church of and for the poor and the marginalised. And he practises what he preaches. Bishop Keenan gave the introductory talk and later led the Mass which concluded the conference. He also gave a workshop on the Joy of the Gospel.
Father Joseph Lappin is the Director of Education for the Archdiocese of Glasgow. He spoke about the Eucharist as the ultimate encounter with Mercy, drawing from the catechesis of the Popes and Saints in looking at the nature of Liturgy, and especially how the Sacrifice of the Mass is a foretaste of Heaven.
Father Piotr Prusakiewicz is acknowledged as a world expert on Divine Mercy and on Angels – belonging to the Congregation of St Michael Archangel, he is also the editor of Angels magazine. And between 1993 and 1996, he was the chaplain to the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy at the convent where Saint Faustina lived, in Warsaw. Fr Prusakiewicz brought a fist class Relic of Saint Faustina, ensuring that every person present was blessed with this and was able to venerate the Relic. In the morning session, he spoke about Angels, and in the afternoon he spoke about the Divine Mercy devotion itself.
Father Ross Campbell is the chaplain at Glasgow University and in the afternoon session, he spoke about the Eucharist as being always in the plan of God and as the action of mercy. He also spoke very interestingly about the nature of Sacrament and Sacrifice.
There is no doubt that the Divine Mercy devotion is growing at a rate of knots in all parts of the world and it is good to see this devotion really taking hold here in Scotland and producing good fruit.