On December 8, the Church begins a Jubilee Year of Mercy. These are stories from Notre Dame family of faith witnessing mercy in the world as a light in the darkness.

The Embarrassment of Racism

I am part of this legacy of separation, distance, and ignorance-at-best. I am prejudiced, I am racist, and it is embarrassing. Read more>

Matters, in Black and White

But bridging the black-white racial divide is a two-way project. And it needs to be said straightforwardly: As in the early days of the abolitionist movement, white Americans need to take the initiative. Read more>

The Year of Mercy

What is a jubilee year and why are we celebrating one dedicated to mercy? Read more>

Mercy's Unpredictable Path

I wonder if the difference between my children and me is that they have an imagination for failure, an imagination for the world falling apart and having to rework it again. Read more>

Mercy Defined: 'I Must Do Something'

The life animated by the call to mercy is more difficult, complicated, and clumsy— but it is a better life. Read more>

The Mystical Embrace of Mercy

Every day since that difficult morning in the doctor’s office, God’s mercy has been visible and tangible, carrying us forward in the affirmation of God’s love. Family, friends, co-workers, doctors, nurses, and strangers have all reached out to bear our weakness and our struggles with us. So many individuals have born us in sorrow, lifting us up to hope in our grief. Read more>

Visible and Tangible Love

All who care for loved ones with dementia know how painful it is to watch them slip away by inches, but this is also where I found God’s visible, tangible love. Read more>

Surprised by God's Mercy

In November of 1987, I decided I would not be celebrating Christmas. I told my friends and family that I would not be hosting my annual Christmas party, nor would I be putting up any decorations or making my favorite Christmas treats. I was not in the mood for “O Holy Night” and doubted I’d go to midnight Mass, which I had done since I was a child. Read more>

Candles in Dark Places

I turned around and finally noticed that scores of people surrounded me, kneeling and sitting and praying. We were all in it together: The hundred people surrounding me, the father and son who left behind a token of love, and my own family were all in this together. Read more>

Exchanging a Blessing of Mercy

The Notre Dame Folk Choir has a lot in common with Johnny Cash—we visit a prison, just like the Man in Black did. And we've been doing so for some 20 years or so, not just once. Read more>

Camouflage Christmas

Suffering on Christmas is so often camouflaged. Jesus still runs after the lost, the forsaken—and hope abounds when we finally become aware that God is among us, for real. Christmas is for those who believe that they cannot make it through one more night in pain. Read more>

Even the Mercy of the Lord Burns

Sometimes God’s mercy is incredibly severe: it can force us to open ourselves up again despite the pain; it can force us to reach out to others who suffer and work towards healing. Read more>

The Trademark of True Mercy

Nothing is a better teacher of God’s mercy than receiving extravagant forgiveness. Rather than the guarded forgiveness of a judge, we experience the joyful, overflowing reconciliation of the prodigal son’s father. It is undeserved and (to the world) unreasonable. It is also God’s variety of mercy. Read more>

God Coming to Meet Me

As two weeks of pent-up homesickness rolled down my face, I felt a tap on my shoulder and looked up to find a smartly dressed Londoner not much older than myself kneeling in front of my travel-worn backpack. “Are you alright?” he asked. Read more>

Making Time for Mercy

I’m a full time case-worker at the largest shelter in town. I took the job as a recent graduate of a professional lay ministry program who wanted to serve God’s vulnerable people and proclaim the good news to the poor. And now, I am tired. Yesterday I accidently worked an 18-hour day. Read more>

Mercy on the Streets of Philadelphia

I lost sight of the real need at hand: that of encounter, the very border-crossing, radical, genuine encounter into which Christ and Pope Francis are calling us. I had failed to really encounter the two individuals to whom I had just given food—I didn’t even know either of their names, and neither did they know mine. Read more>

Divorce in Mercy's Light

The mercy I received from my parents’ divorce was exactly the mercy that God extended to Elise through me. My pain turned into someone else’s comfort. And in being hers, it became mine. Read more>

The Question of Mercy

In the language Pope Francis uses about mercy, questions have the potential to “reawaken us to new life” and instill “in us the courage to look to the future with hope.” We are invited into the conversation, the wondering. The future becomes hopeful and exhilarating. Read more>