Healing Bread – Cenacles of Divine Mercy Day of Healing held at St. Matthew Church in Charlotte
CHARLOTTE — More than 150 came out to celebrate and share at Healing Bread – Cenacles of Divine Mercy Day of Healing at St. Matthew Church on Oct. 8. The event was dedicated to exploring the Divine Mercy Way of Life, which calls us to place our complete trust in Jesus, to be filled with His mercy and to extend that mercy to others in real and tangible ways.
Monsignor John McSweeney, pastor of St. Matthew Church, began the day with a special Mass, which included the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, anointing of the sick,and singing of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
Following Mass, five Catholic authors gave powerful witness to what it means to "Live the Divine Mercy Way of Life." Headlining the event was Vinny Flynn, President of Mercy Song Inc., author of "The Seven Secrets of the Eucharist" and a frequent guest on EWTN. He began in signature style with guitar in hand – singing a song he wrote for his grandchild's baptism, "Mother of Mercy," a tribute to Mary, the Mother of Divine Mercy.
Flynn talked about God's overarching plan for humanity, His desire to love us always and the connection between the Eucharist and Divine Mercy.
"The Eucharist and Divine Mercy are not just things we do as Catholics, not just ritualistic devotions. They are part of something that's huge and incredibly important," he said.
"The goal of Divine Mercy and the goal of Eucharist are the same," he continued. "You can remember it as TNT: transparency, new life and transformation."
We are called to be transparent to God, he said, so that when others see us, they see God. As we become more transparent, reflecting God, we become new creatures, and that results in a complete transformation – a new way of living in Christ here and now.
Also speaking at the event were the following authors and members of St. Matthew:
-- Fred Berretta, author of "My Flight to Faith," who told the story of Flight 1549's landing in the Hudson River and the calming influence of placing his trust in Jesus Christ.
-- Jon Gauthier, author of "Embracing Goodness," a book he wrote for his children to give them a road map to respond to suffering through meditations on God's mercy, His love and His Sacraments.
-- Ralph Sullivan, leader of Cenacles of the Divine Mercy at St. Matthew Church and the author of "Do You Know What Your Son Said to Me," which chronicles his son Jimmy's quest to channel his suffering into a way to bring souls closer to God.
-- Bruce Brodowski, president of Carolinas Ecumenical Healing Ministries and author of "My Father, My Son, Healing the Orphan Heart with the Father's Love." His ministry seeks restorative healing through the Word, forgiveness and love.
St. Matthew began forming Cenacles of Divine Mercy on Divine Mercy Sunday 2010. Three groups of 8 to 12 people began studying the heartfelt, instructive conversations between St. Maria Faustina Kowalska and Jesus as told in her diary. Today, there are 10 active cenacles at St. Matthew and new groups forming this fall.
"Divine Mercy is a way of being in the world, and the way you change your life is in direct proportion to the degree that you trust and turn your cares and woes over to Jesus," said Sullivan. "It's a message of Jesus Christ's incredible love and mercy and His call for us to share that mercy with others."
— Jenny Cox, special to the Catholic News Herald
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