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Rome Reports

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Which weekend jubilee was the â??bestâ? during the Year of Mercy?

In addition to the general Jubilee Year of Mercy, initiated by Pope Francis on December 8, 2015, there have also been 12 smaller jubilee celebrations, honing in on certain roles and vocations within the Church throughout this year. Looking back at each of these smaller jubilees, it's hard to choose which left the biggest impact or affected the most people, due to the diversity of each event. In order to do so, we spoke to one of the organizers for the Jubilee.  FR. GENO SYLVA Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelization "We never want to judge an event solely by the numbers, because each of the different events had a different outreach, a different group that it was trying to reach out to and inspire and to touch. So while, for example, the Jubilee for Children having close to 100,000 children between the ages of 13-15 was wonderful, again we don't want to compare those numbers to say the Jubilee for Catechists, where that was going to be a smaller group just by definition.â? The jubilees catered to those who minister to others: whether physically, such as caretakers and volunteers, or spiritually, like religious, deacons and priests. However, after attending many of the events held in Rome, one Jubilee organizer explained the two events that especially spoke to him in a profound way. The first was the Jubilee for the Sick and Disabled. FR. GENO SYLVA Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelization "It was so moving because it demonstrated to all the world that all of us are equal in the eyes of God and that having a disability does not make one different. No, we're all one. We're all children of God. I kept sitting there thinking this is a celebration  for each one of us, as a child of God. So for me, that event was truly special and moving.â? He experienced this while watching a performance for 3,000 people with famous Italian artists and singers, who performed alongside those with disabilities or battling illnesses. The other jubilees were moving for different reasons, such as the Jubilee for Priests, where the pope himself delivered a personal retreat. This particular weekend welcomed more than 7,000 priests to Rome, some of whom never had the opportunity to see the Eternal City. FR. GENO SYLVA Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelization "To see how moved the priests were, to be able to come to Rome for the first time in their lives, to be able to be in the presence of the Holy Father, and to just sense their excitement. A lot of these priests, they toil everyday in the vineyard of the Lord and sometimes they feel disconnected and alone. Yet here, they were together with other priests and with the Holy Father.â? While many were able to physically come to Rome for these jubilees, many more were not. This is why Pope Francis desired that this Jubilee Year of Mercy extend outside of Rome and unite Catholics spiritually, no matter where they are.  MB AA F -PR Up:JRB