By Cian Molloy - 30 December, 2019
The Dublin Diocesan celebration of the Church’s 53rd World Day of Peace will take place at 11 a.m. on New Year’s Day in the Church of St Thérèse, Mount Merrion.
Established by Pope Paul VI in 1967 in response to Pope John XXIII’s encyclical Pacem in Terris, the World Day of Peace occurs on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and is a holy day of obligation in many parts of the world, including the United States.
“The Holy Father has been very keen to promote it also,” said Fr Brian O’Reilly, PP of St Thérèse’s, who said he was expecting “a big crowd” to turn up at the event.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will be the chief celebrant at the Mount Merrion event.
The theme given to this year’s World Day of Peace by Pope Francis is “Peace as a journey of hope: dialogue, reconciliation and ecological conversion”.
Peacemakers must be open to a dialogue that rejects exclusion or manipulation, says the Pope in his World Day of Peace message. “We cannot truly achieve peace without a convinced dialogue between men and women who seek the truth beyond ideologies and differing opinion,” he says.
Citing the story in Matthew’s Gospel where Peter asks Jesus how often he must forgive a brother who sins against him (Mt 18:21-22), the Pope says: “This path of reconciliation is a summons to discover in the depths of our heart the power of forgiveness and the capacity to acknowledge one another as brothers and sisters. When we learn to live in forgiveness, we grow in our capacity to become men and women of peace.”
Looking at how the world’s limited natural resources are seen by big business as “a source of immediate profit, regardless of local communities, the common good and nature itself”, the Pope states: “We are in need of an ecological conversion.”
He explains: “The ecological conversion will lead us to a new way of looking at life, as we consider the generosity of the Creator who has given us the earth and called us to share it in joy and moderation .”