In the 1930s Polish nun St. Maria Faustina Kowalska received messages from Jesus of his divine mercy that were to be spread throughout “the whole world.” From this message St. Faustina painted an image of Christ with rays emanating from his heart and introduced a chaplet that continues to inspire many today.

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Polish Sister St. Faustina Kowalska is depicted with an image of Jesus Christ the Divine Mercy. CNS photo by Nancy Wieche


QuickHelp Productions and FOCUS Worldwide Network have co-produced a 30-minute documentary to capture how the mission of fostering the message of divine mercy is growing in the Baton Rouge area.

“Living Mercy” features interviews with parishioners, staff and friends of Our Lady of Mercy Church in Baton Rouge, which will mark its seventh year of praying the nine-week devotional. The novena, which is held on Tuesdays, begins the week before Mardi Gras and ends on Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday after Easter.

Among those featured in the documentary is OLOM Pastor Father Miles Walsh, who said the Lord moved him to introduce the novena to his church when a woman who knew nothing about the Divine Mercy chaplet told him about a vision she had in the church’s adoration chapel that depicted St. Faustina and the Lord.

He explained that people are tempted to live apart from Christ, through drugs, alcohol and other addictions. Christ, through the Divine Mercy Novena, draws them away from those temptations and closer to himself. “I look at divine mercy as God pouring out his grace on the world,” he said.

As discussed in the documentary, the Divine Mercy Novena powerfully aids the suffering. Father Walsh noted that the devotional started at OLOM in 2006, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He said people filled the pews at the 8 a.m. and noon daily Masses, and the church was packed each week of the Divine Mercy Novena, even on Mardi Gras. People have continued to fill the church each week of the novena since then.

Father Walsh added that the novena, in the nine-week format, is spreading to other churches in the diocese. St. John the Evangelist Church in Plaquemine is in its fourth year of hosting the novena and St. Thomas More Church in Baton Rouge and Ascension of Our Lord Church in Donaldsonville are introducing it this year. Other diocesan churches pray a nine-day Divine Mercy Novena.

In the documentary, Joshua Johnson, seminarian for the Diocese of Baton Rouge, also discusses the Lord’s mercy toward the suffering. “As humans, we all experience hurts, pains and wounds throughout our lifetime.It is my hope that through this video, people will come to experience the love and mercy that our Lord has for them personally. After a personal encounter with our Lord’s love and mercy in our lives, it is my hope that those who have received this gift will spread his love and mercy to others in the midst of their brokenness.”

Johnson added that at the bottom of apicture of Jesus depicted by St. Faustina are the words, “Jesus, I Trust in You.” He said people must ask themselves daily if they love Jesus and trust him.

Others appearing in the documentary are OLOM staff members Father Arun John, parochial vicar; Deacon Richard Grant, pastoral associate; Mary Rosenbloom, cantor of the Divine Mercy chaplet; Deacon Eugene Brady, diocesan nursing home coordinator; OLOM church members Margaret Bieser, Carol Dazzio and Lloyd Plaisance; and coordinator of the Baton Rouge chapter of Magnificat, Theresa Henderson.

Filming the documentary helped Eric Antoon of MR2 Productions learn more about his faith. Over the course of eight months, Antoon filmed interviews, two Divine Mercy novenas, and the OLOM church building. “Hearing real accounts about how the novena has impacted people was inspiring. Everyone had a personal story,” Antoon said.

Catholic Life Television, which has ties with FOCUS, will premier “Living Mercy” nationally on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 15, 2:30-3 p.m. FOCUS will continue to air “Living Mercy” via its national network, beginning with WLAE TV, New Orleans, on Thursday, April 19, 8 p.m.

Those who want to learn more about
“Living Mercy” can visit quickhelpproduc