Feeling the Mercy of God

Fr. Joseph Deardorff, C.PP.S., is the director of the C.PP.S. mission ad experimentum in Colombia. A native of Dayton, he also ministered in Peru for many years.

How has this Jubilee Year of Mercy influenced how you see your ministry?

It’s an opportunity to develop even more fully our Precious Blood spirituality and how it relates to God’s mercy, which is something very concrete to our mission. It makes our spirituality more than just words. It becomes an action.

Are there concrete things that you and the mission will do to mark the Jubilee Year of Mercy?

At our center of reconciliation in Bogotá, we’ve set up seven days of reflection that will take place over the course of the year.

One was held on December 12. The theme was mercy and hospitality. We examined the story of the good shepherd and how it relates to the beginning of this year of mercy. First, we need to experience the mercy of God so we can learn to be merciful as he is merciful.

We want to develop these presentations in such a way that it’s a more experiential type of journey during the year.

In October, to finish the series, we’ll talk about how we as a Congregation live out and pass along God’s mercy and what we have learned about God’s mercy from St. Gaspar.

Are there things that you personally have taken on to help celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy?

If you read the papal bull that came out announcing the jubilee year, it talks about how in society we can hear the cries of those who are suffering and how we need to respond to those cries. That inspired me to come up with a calendar to remind people of the actions we need to take on during this Jubilee Year of Mercy. The calendar is being distributed through our lay associate program.

Personally, my goal this year is to develop programs that will allow people to feel the mercy of God in a real sense, and be able to show that mercy to others through art: through poetry, through painting, through dancing, and we want to begin a drum circle —to create an opportunity for personal expression, but also solidarity, being present to others, how they live it out. In this way we hope it will become something real.

Check out Streams of Mercy for more interviews with members of the Precious Blood family.