“Imprisoned” doesn’t just mean bound behind bars in a correctional institution. For many of those who find themselves in prisons and jails, they also are held captive by something more — chemical dependency, mental health issues, the cycle of poverty.
Nearing the end of the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis paid a visit to seven families formed by men who left the priesthood to marry. The Vatican said the visit was a sign that God loves and is merciful to everyone experiencing difficulty.
Bridges support us, protect us, provide safe passage, connect us and assist us in arriving at a new place. This is the foundation — and the name — of a recently formed group at St. Francis Xavier Church in Sartell designed to provide support and social activities for those who have lost a loved one.
With the special year coming to a close Nov. 20, words and phrases like “Holy Door,” “pilgrimage,” “corporal and spiritual works of mercy,” “dialogue,” “reconciliation” and “healing” call out for further reflection. For many, these encounters with God’s mercy have left a mark that won’t disappear when the jubilee year ends.