2017 Theme

A little mercy makes the world less cold and more just. Pope Francis

The new Clancy Prize theme coincides with the Church’s Holy Jubilee Year of Mercy 2016.

Pope Francis calls upon us to reflect that Mercy comes from God the Father and that we too in turn have a calling as his faithful people to make the world a better place by showing compassion to those who desperately need our help and support. These people may be neighbours or family members we are called to help as carers or they may be people on the other side of the world seeking refuge from conflict and persecution in their homeland.

Mercy is the capacity we have for kindness and forgiveness. It is not just feeling sorry for the plight of others but an active intervention to make the world a better place by our deeds. It may involve giving up our time and energy to help somebody in person or to campaign for greater assistance for people in need like refugees, the elderly, victims of human trafficking and those living in poverty. Sometimes this is not easy and it may involve forgiving someone who has offended or hurt us.

It is worth reading this full extract from Pope Francis’ Angelus address made not long after his election as the Holy Father.

In the past few days I have been reading a book by a Cardinal … Cardinal Kasper said that feeling mercy, that this word changes everything. This is the best thing we can feel: it changes the world. A little mercy makes the world less cold and more just. We need to understand properly this mercy of God, this merciful Father who is so patient. … Let us remember the Prophet Isaiah who says that even if our sins were scarlet, God’s love would make them white as snow. This mercy is beautiful.

— Angelus on March 17, 2013