Saint Luke President Recommissioned as a Missionary of Mercy
VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis has recommissioned Saint Luke Institute President Fr. David Songy, O.F.M.Cap., as a Missionary of Mercy. His Holiness originally made Father and over 1,000 priests Missionaries for the Jubilee Year of Mercy. That charge was to have ended on November 20, 2016, at the Jubilee’s close.
But during an April 10 meeting that brought 550 of these clerics together at the Vatican, the Holy Father indefinitely extended the mandate.
In his remarks to them he said that, reflecting “on the great service you have rendered to the Church, and on how much good you have done and offered to so many believers with your preaching and above all with the celebration of the sacrament of Reconciliation, I considered it appropriate to extend your term for a little longer. I have received many testimonies of conversions realized through your service. And you are witnesses to this.”
“This is an incredible honor for all us,” Fr. Songy said, “and a tremendous responsibility. The experiences Missionaries had during the Jubilee of Mercy were remarkable occasions of grace, so the opportunity to continue in this capacity for Christ and His Church is a true blessing.”
According to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, Missionary priests were chosen on the basis of their ability to preach well, especially on the theme of mercy. Another criteria was their ability to be “good confessors,” meaning they are able to express God’s love in a merciful way.
Fisichella also said Missionaries demonstrated “patience” and “an understanding of human fragility.”
According to the papal bull of indiction Misericordiae Vultus, Fr. Songy and his peers have “the authority to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See,” for example, profanation of the Eucharist.
Fr. Songy is one of roughly 100 American priests commissioned by the Pope. Other Americans include Fr. Roger Landry, who is a nationally known columnist and speaker, and Fr. John Paul Zeller, MFVA, who is often seen on EWTN.
Saint Luke Institute is the international leader in providing expert, compassionate mental health care for the Church’s clergy and religious. It has more clinicians with graduate and post-graduate degrees on its staff than any similar center in the Catholic world. With offices in Washington, DC, Baltimore, Louisville, St. Louis, and Manchester, England, it draws clients from around the globe. To learn more, go to www.sli.org.