New Divine Mercy Shrine to be open daily

Published: May 2, 2023

“My heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for poor sinners. If only they could understand that I am the best of fathers to them and that it is for them that the blood and water flowed from my heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy." — Words of Jesus recorded in "Diary of St Faustina: Divine Mercy In My Soul," no. 367

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Bishop Anthony B. Taylor will open a new Divine Mercy Shrine for the Diocese of Little Rock on Sunday, June 11, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)

The special celebration will begin with a bilingual Mass at 12:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Little Rock. Participants will then process one mile to St. Edward Church where Bishop Taylor will bless the new image of the Divine Mercy and lead the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

He will then sign the decree officially creating a diocesan shrine and conclude the event with Benediction. Light refreshments will be served after the ceremony. Everyone is invited to attend.

After the opening, St. Edward Church and Divine Mercy Shrine will welcome visitors from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily Monday through Friday. Mass, reconciliation (confession) and eucharistic adoration (exposition of the Blessed Sacrament) will be offered at special times. See complete schedule below:

Monday: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (open)
Tuesday: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (open); 4-5 p.m. (closed); 5-6 p.m. (eucharistic adoration, reconciliation); 6 p.m. (Mass)
Wednesday: 7 a.m. (Mass); 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (open); 4-5 p.m. (closed); 5-6 p.m. (eucharistic adoration, reconciliation)
Thursday: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (open); 4-5 p.m. (closed); 5-6 p.m. (eucharistic adoration, reconciliation); 6 p.m. (Mass)
Friday: 7 a.m. (Mass); 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (open); 3-4 p.m. (eucharistic adoration, reconciliation)
Saturday: 3-4 p.m. (eucharistic adoration, reconciliation); 4 p.m. (Mass)
Sunday: 9 a.m. (Mass); 10-11 a.m. (open); 11 a.m. (Mass, Spanish); noon - 1 p.m. (open); 1 p.m. (Mass, Spanish); 2-3 p.m. (open); 3-4 p.m. (eucharistic adoration, reconciliation)

The bishop announced the creation of the new shrine in December in his response to the report generated from the diocesan synod process, which sought input from Catholics across Arkansas about their experience of the Church.

"One constant theme that underlies much of the synodal process in Arkansas was the desire for more opportunities for spiritual growth, with special hope for increasing growth in our love for and appreciation of the Eucharist during this time of National Eucharistic Revival," he said.

"With this in mind, I would like to announce a new initiative that I think will bring many spiritual blessings to our diocese, namely the establishment of a diocesan Shrine of Divine Mercy ... at St. Edward Parish in Little Rock (to) serve as a place of pilgrimage, adoration and reconciliation."

Bishop Taylor said everyone "who comes to the shrine, spends time there praying for the intention of the Holy Father and goes to confession and receives the Eucharist during Mass within 30 days of that visit" will gain a "plenary indulgence."

The Divine Mercy Shrine will be a ministry of St. Edward Church, which is located in downtown Little Rock. Get Directions.

George Hoelzeman, liturgical artist and member of Sacred Heart Church in Morrilton, is creating the divine mercy artwork to be blessed for the shrine. It is a painted relief carving that will be framed and attached to a side altar in the church.

The shrine is based on the worldwide divine mercy devotion that developed from the apparitions of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun, who wrote in her diary that she witnessed a vision of Jesus on Feb. 22, 1931, while she was living at a convent in Plock, Poland. She wrote that Jesus had one hand raised in benediction and the other resting over his heart, from which emanated two rays of light. 

St. John Paul II canonized St. Faustina on May 1, 2000. Five days later the Vatican decreed that the Second Sunday of Easter would henceforth be known as Divine Mercy Sunday, which recognizes that God's love and mercy endure forever and overcome any sin that separates us from him.

Parishes celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday with holy hours, which might include adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Benediction, Praises of Divine Mercy, Litany of the Precious Blood, novenas, rosaries, or other prayers and songs, or the sacraments of anointing of the sick and reconciliation.

The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy is located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and offers Mass, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, rosary and talks via livestream. Visit Catholic Icing and Teaching Catholic Kids for tips to teach your kids about this devotion.