2015-16 THEME

                     Show Know Mercy Web Logo

    This year's youth ministry theme in the Catholic Diocese of Arlington is “Show Know Mercy.”

    If you would like copies of this image for your youth ministry program, please email April with your request and a brief description of how you plan to use the logo.


    Pope Francis has declared that this year would be an Extraordinary Jubilee, a Holy Year of Mercy. When the Office of Youth Ministry began prayerfully considering what our theme for this year of ministry would be, we knew that mercy would need to be at its core.

    Our theme is pulled from two scripture passages that Pope Francis has referenced in his call to know and show Christ’s mercy. When the Holy Father announced the Holy Year of Mercy, he encouraged us to live out the Lord’s words: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”  (Luke 6:36) In preparation for World Youth Day 2016, Pope Francis has frequently referred to its theme from the beatitudes: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

    We are called to show mercy to all those we encounter but we cannot do this if we do not first know mercy ourselves. The theme “Show Know Mercy” encourages us to recognize mercy shown to us through the love and goodness of Christ and then commands that we share that mercy with others. 

    Please take some time to read Misericordiae Vultus, the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. Here are some quotes from the letter that may be helpful to you as you consider how to weave this theme into your ministry.

    "We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it. Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness." MV 2

    "How much I desire that the year to come will be steeped in mercy, so that we can go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God! May the balm of mercy reach everyone, both believers and those far away, as a sign that the Kingdom of God is already present in our midst!" MV 5

    "This parable contains a profound teaching for all of us. Jesus affirms that mercy is not only an action of the Father, it becomes a criterion for ascertaining who his true children are. In short, we are called to show mercy because mercy has first been shown to us." MV 9

    "Mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life. All of her pastoral activity should be caught up in the tenderness she makes present to believers; nothing in her preaching and in her witness to the world can be lacking in mercy. The Church’s very credibility is seen in how she shows merciful and compassionate love." MV 10

    "The Church is commissioned to announce the mercy of God, the beating heart of the Gospel, which in its own way must penetrate the heart and mind of every person.  The Spouse of Christ must pattern her behavior after the Son of God who went out to everyone without exception. In the present day, as the Church is charged with the task of the new evangelization, the theme of mercy needs to be proposed again and again with new enthusiasm and renewed pastoral action. It is absolutely essential for the Church and for the credibility of her message that she herself live and testify to mercy. Her language and her gestures must transmit mercy, so as to touch the hearts of all people and inspire them once more to find the road that leads to the Father." MV 12


    Post Card Resource

    “It is impossible to grasp the concept of evangelization unless one tries to keep in view all its essential elements.” - EN 17

    In order to assist you with understanding the Church’s language about the process of evangelization as well as contemporary verbiage we have provided a post card with what we hope will be some helpful visuals. Special thanks to the Diocese of Sioux Falls for the idea. See below for details.

    front of card
    GoForth Postcard Front 

    This graphic illustrates the process of evangelization as described in ecclesial documents. We have also provided you with references to these documents that will help explain the individual steps in greater detail.

    EN – Evangelii Nuntiandi – Paul VI

    RM – Redemptoris Missio – John Paul II 

    CT – Catechesi Tradendae – John Paul II 

    GDC – General Directory for Catechesis – Congregation for Clergy 

    back of cardGo Forth Postcard Back

    The Five Thresholds of Conversion are the five steps that every person goes through on the path to discipleship as Sherry Weddell describes in her popular book, Forming Intentional Disciples. These steps are based on Doug Schaupp’s work in evangelization at UCLA. For a very informative description of these five steps please watch this short video by Fr. Robert Barron.

    The Pyramid of Spiritual Commitment: Duffy Robins describes a typical youth ministry program as a “mixed bag of kids whose commitments are all over the place.” The Pyramid of Spiritual Commitment provides an illustration of this point. In his book Building a Youth Ministry that Builds Disciples he details what all of these spiritual commitments look like and later helps the reader understand what they can do to help teens move forward in their spiritual commitments.

    The Four Earmarks of Discipleship are described in an article by Greg Ogden entitled, Making Disciples Jesus’ Way: A Few at a Time. In this article he discusses his observations on the necessary components for building true and lasting disciples. In this article he asserts that disciples are made in relationship, not programs. He goes on to outline four earmarks or hallmarks of how a disciple relationship differs from a program. We especially like that he outlines a way to do this most effectively in small groups and not in a one-on-one relationship. The full article can be downloaded here.



    If you are interested in reproducing this postcard for your youth ministry program we have provided two versions for your convenience. The first is a pdf you can download and send to a printer to print your own copies of the postcard or you can download an 8.5 x 11 version that can easily be printed at your home or office.

    If you have any questions on downloading or printing this resource please contact the Office of Youth Ministry at 703-841-2559.