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For more than 110 years Catholic Extension has worked to support and strengthen dioceses across the United States that are financially struggling. The papal society is dedicated to reaching out to those on the margins and in need, and this Lent, during the Jubilee Year of Mercy, it’s providing a concrete way for others to join in that mission by contributing to a Mercy prayer video.
People from all walks of life are being invited to use their phones to take a short video of themselves stating a simple prayer intention and send it to Catholic Extension, which is currently collecting these video intentions until Easter Sunday. The final video (and a list of all the intentions) will be published on Catholic Extension’s website and social media on Divine Mercy Sunday (the Sunday after Easter).
Matt Paolelli, manager of digital communications at Catholic Extension says they wanted to find a way to bring Catholics together in prayer during this special time. “Through our work with 94 Catholic dioceses across the country, we have seen the power of both mercy and prayer to transform lives, ” he says. “The power of prayer is a real force for good in the world and we hope people will unite their intentions with our Mercy Prayer and help us to unleash that transformative power and spread a message of God’s love and mercy.”
Paolelli says that they’ve been receiving very heartfelt prayers that speak to the many aspects of life that need God’s mercy: divorce, mental illness, loved ones falling away from the Church, couples preparing for marriage, and more.
“It’s truly inspiring to hear people praying for the good of others,” says Paolelli. “We hope the Mercy Prayer will encourage others to spend some time in prayer, reflecting on their blessings and asking for God’s mercy for other people.”
Video intentions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in the Mercy Video. They should be about 10 seconds long and follow the format of: “For ______, Lord have mercy.” It’s as simple as that. You can also post your video to social media using the hashtag #MercyPrayer so that others can pray for your intention. More information can be found at www.mercyprayer.org.
Zoe Romanowsky is lifestyle editor and video content producer for Aleteia.