The Divine Mercy Message and Devotion

An Introduction to Divine Mercy: This is the handbook that has introduced... Read more


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It's Never Too Late

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In 2011, at 72 years old, Jo Holloway never expected for the Lord to call her to do something new — something she knew nothing about. But then one night, Jo, a retired nurse from Omaha, Nebraska, was watching EWTN's "Sunday Night Prime," when Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR, and Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, began speaking about something called "Divine Mercy," and how important it was to bring to your parish.

"I was listening and thinking, 'Gee, I don't know anything about that,'" Jo said.

Then, Fr. Groeschel said, "Now, you can't just go out and do this [bring Divine Mercy to your parish]. You have to talk to your pastor."

"That hit me right in the heart," Jo recalled. "I knew I needed to go speak to my pastor."

"Nothing had ever hit me like that on the TV," she said. "I knew I needed to bring Divine Mercy into nursing homes and assisted living facilities — to patients." Jo especially wanted to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy with senior patients.

Jo had been with her father when he died of a heart attack, with her mother when she died, and with her husband when he died in hospice after 16 years of illness. In 2009, she herself spent two and a half months in a senior care center after she had surgery on her foot. She knew what life was like for the ill and dying, and those in care centers.

"From my experience of being in assisted living and receiving what spiritual care they offered, I saw that there was a need for something more," Jo said.

Shortly thereafter, out of the blue, the leader of her parish's widows and widowers group asked her to become a co-leader. At first Jo declined because of some health problems she was having. She didn't think she could give it her full attention. But the very next morning when she awoke she knew that it could be her opportunity to bring Divine Mercy into care centers by making it an outreach program of her parish's already existing ministry.

After becoming the co-leader, she contacted a newly ordained priest at her parish, Fr. Michael Voithofer, asking him to be the spiritual director of her group. He asked, "Jo, what did you have in mind?" "Father, I really feel I have the calling to start a Divine Mercy ministry in our parish and bring it to care centers."

Turns out, Fr. Michael grew up with the Divine Mercy devotion. He enthusiastically supported this idea and helped get the ministry off the ground.

Jo, Fr. Michael, and two volunteers made the ministry's maiden voyage to a local care center in November 2011. The patients gathered in a common area and prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy together. Soon, Fr. Michael started coming to the care center to give talks on Divine Mercy. More volunteers joined, and the ministry began to spread to other care centers. Since then, Fr. Michael has been transferred to two other parishes, but that has only expanded the ministry and increased its pool of volunteers.

Today, Jo has volunteers that go to multiple care centers. Their ministry now includes Holy Mass, Anointing of the Sick, the Rosary, and talks by Jo and Fr. Michael on Divine Mercy. They have also made a DVD of a Holy Hour, Rosary, Chaplet, and a homily by Fr. Michael to show at the care centers.

Never think you are too old, too young, too sick, or too busy to spread Divine Mercy. The Lord calls you. Be not afraid. Go out and spread the Good News.

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Sbw - Jul 18, 2017

What a beautiful gift to those in care centers! Thank you for spreading the Divine Mercy message! Jesus must be blessing this holy effort.