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Fr. Joe Corpora speaks on importance of mercy in new book

| Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Fr. Joe Corpora, Holy Cross priest and priest-in-residence in Dillon Hall, hosted a book signing for his newest work, “Becoming Mercy: The Path to Becoming Fully Alive” in the Coleman-Morse lounge Tuesday.

Corpora’s newest book is a sequel to “The Relentless Mercy of God,” a series of reflections inspired by his experience as a Missionary of Mercy. Appointed to the role by Pope Francis, the Missionaries of Mercy were called on to be “living signs” of God’s love during the Church’s Year of Mercy in 2016.

Photo courtesy of Fr. Joe Corpora
Fr. Joe Corpora receives a blessing from Pope Francis in 2016.

Corpora said he “never imagined” writing so many reflections on the subject, which now number about 50 in total.

Corpora said his new book is about “how God’s mercy is revealed to us” and that “each reflection is really about a way of understanding and accepting God’s mercy in our lives.”

To him, mercy means reaching out to others, Corpora said.

“Seeing things through the lens of mercy means encountering people where they are in their journey and walking with them,” he said.

Corpora said encountering people with mercy is a large part of his work here at Notre Dame and that he is “privileged to do it and grateful to do it.”

He said he believes his focus on mercy comes from Francis’ emphasis on pastoral theology, which is based on “encountering the person, embracing the person and perhaps then challenging the person, or helping the person move in their life.”

Corpora said he thinks Francis “will become known forever as the pope of mercy.”

“God gave [Francis] a special grace at the time when he was elected pope to look at what the world needed, and the world needed to be reminded of mercy — to practice it and to receive it,” he added.

Corpora said he hopes those who read his book will “be more convinced of God’s mercy in their own lives” and “only want to extend it however and wherever” they go.

“In order to be mercy, you have to abandon the search for security, the search for stability, the search for the answer and simply to live in awareness of God’s presence,” he said.

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