Doing Mercy: Reflections from Fr. Joe Corpora, C.S.C.
Fr. Joe Corpora, C.S.C., on sabbatical for the Fall 2019 semester, renamed his regular “Being Mercy” column in Notre Dame Magazine to “Doing Mercy” as he chronicles his experiences around the world during his active leave from campus.
See what he's been up to in the stories below.
Doing Mercy: Sustenance
October 28, 2019On the fourth leg of Fr. Joe's fall semester sabbatical, he spent 11 days in Italy, making a pilgrimage to San Giovanni Rotondo, where St. Padre Pio lived and served almost all his life. He also visited his grandparents' village in Sicily, and spent some time in Rome, where he was able to see the sculpture of migrants and refugees, Angels Unawares, that the Pope unveiled this past September on the World Day of Migrants.
Doing Mercy: Unwelcome Developments at the Border
October 14, 2019
After spending his Christmas break last year at the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas, working with the migrants and refugees coming across the border, Fr. Joe knew that this would be a place to which he would return for an extended period of time during his fall sabbatical. Much to his surprise, the situation had changed dramatically since he had last volunteered there.
Doing Mercy: Lourdes Work
September 26, 2019"There is so much suffering in the world. In Lourdes one sees and feels and tastes so much of it — physical, emotional, mental, spiritual... but Lourdes is also a place of so much life and hope and happiness." On the third leg of Fr. Joe's sabbatical, he spent time in Lourdes, France, hearing confessions for 4 to 6 hours everyday, witnessing the daily Eucharistic processions of hundreds of people carrying their own burdens and suffering from various illnessses and disabilities, and reflecting how places like this might be centers of evangelization in the Church.
Doing Mercy: To Be Holy, First Be Human
September 13, 2019
In the second leg of Fr. Joe's sabbatical, he visited Santiago, Chile, where the Congregation of Holy Cross has long had a presence at St. George's College. He then had an opportunity to spend some days in quiet and solitude with the nuns at a Carmelite Monastery in Puangue who serve as a constant reminder that there can be no holiness without being human first.
Doing Mercy: Jesus' Distressing Disguise
August 21, 2019
"My friend Mike Baxter once said that the hardest way to serve Christ is in the distressing disguise of your parents."
Although not realizing it when he made his plans, Fr. Joe found the two weeks that he spent with his aging father to be the perfect way to begin his sabbatical. In this role reversal that we will all inevitably experience at some point in our lives, Fr. Joe reflects on the grace that comes from caring for another in their very human needs.