(Michalovce, Slovakia) The Holy Father established the new Missionaries of Mercy through the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization on 12 April 2019. Four Redemptorists of the Vice Province of Michalovce were appointed: Fr. Jozef Jurčenko, Fr. Juraj Rak, Fr. Jaroslav Štelbaský and Fr. Maroš Dupnák, who belong to the Bizantine-Slovak Church. An experience of grace that the Church lived so effectively in the Jubilee Year was certainly the service of the Missionaries of Mercy. Their pastoral action wanted to make it clear that God does not set any boundaries for those who seek him with a repentant heart, because He reaches to all as a Father.
I received so many testimonies of joy for the renewed encounter with the Lord in the Sacrament of Confession. We do not lose the opportunity to live the faith also as an experience of reconciliation. “Let yourself be reconciled with God” ( 2 Cor 5:20) is the invitation that the Apostle is still addressing in our day to make each believer discover the power of love that makes a “new creature” (2 Cor 5:17).
I express my gratitude to every Missionary of Mercy for this precious service offered to make the grace of forgiveness effective. “This extraordinary ministry, however, does not end with the closure of the Holy Door. In fact, I would like it to remain a concrete sign until the new disposition that the grace of the Jubilee continues to be alive and effective in various parts of the world. It will be the duty of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization to follow the Missionaries of Mercy in this period, as a direct expression of my concern and closeness and to find the most coherent forms for the exercise of this precious ministry.”(9 Misericordia et Misera)
The last week of May the vice-provincial Fr. Metod Marcel Lukačik CSsR gave the decrees of the missionaries of mercy to the appointed confreres. Fr. Jozef Jurčenko is currently a popular missionary and will be superior of the community in Stropkov. Fr. Juraj Rak has been working in Ukraine for 20 years, in the Eparchy of Mukachevo. Fr Jaroslav Štelbaský is vicar of the house in Michalovce and Fr. Maroš Dupnák is the administrator of our minor Basilica in Michalovce.
Father Metod Marcel Lukačik CSsR