Fr. Tom Orians, SA, continues to live out his appointment as a Missionary of Mercy, bringing God’s love and forgiveness to those who need it most.
In 2016, Pope Francis commissioned over 1,000 men as Missionaries of Mercy during the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. The Holy Father charged them with sharing God’s love and mercy throughout the world and gave them the authority to absolve sins that normally would require special permission from the Holy See. At the end of the Jubilee, Pope Francis praised the Missionaries’ good works and extended their mandate indefinitely.
Fr. Tom is a Missionary of Mercy both at Graymoor, particularly through retreats and activities of the Graymoor Spiritual Life Center, and beyond.
“Being a Missionary of Mercy to me is one more very important way of living our charism of At-One-Ment,” shared Fr. Tom. “The Holy Father saw a need to bring Christ’s healing and mercy into our hurting world and chose us to spread the joy of the gospel – and I dare say the joy of God – found in reconciliation through our preaching and sacramental acts of forgiveness.”
In January, Fr. Tom and 33 other Missionaries gathered in Lexington, Ky., for the First National Gathering of the Missionaries of Mercy in the USA and Canada to share their experiences, offer each other encouragement and discuss the future of mercy in the Church. The group will meet again next year in Rome as they continue their work.
“We were able to strengthen the network, further develop tools for communicating with one another and were able to learn exciting ways of furthering our work,” said Fr. Tom. “The mandate of the Missionaries of Mercy became even clearer. There was a strengthening of the bond of our roles with local ordinaries and a recommitment to reach out in service to the Church.”
Kentucky Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan Grimes, recognized the Missionaries at the gathering for their good works by appointing them Commonwealth of Kentucky Ambassadors.
As Fr. Tom continues to share mercy and the goodness of God, he is constantly reminded of the important role the Friars play in ministering to and serving all of God’s children.
“I have the opportunity to walk with them, to listen to them, to grant them absolution,” he said. “Being a witness to their encounter with Jesus is both inspiring and humbling.”