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About Divine Mercy Eucharistic Society (DMES)
The Divine Mercy Eucharistic Society ("DMES" or "Society") is a community of Divine Mercy devotees dedicated to promoting the comforting and powerful message of Divine Mercy revealed by Our Lord Jesus to St. Faustina through annual conferences, retreats, and formation programs.
Adjacent to our El Cerrito office and center is our Divine Mercy Perpetual Adoration Chapel which is the source of our strength and inspiration. We assist in deepening peoples' spiritual lives by providing them with the adoration chapel 24 hours / 7 days a week to have a life-changing encounter with the risen Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and thus be more effective in their Christian witness.
Prayer without works is not complete. We opened Mary's House of Mercy, a home for single pregnant women in crisis, to provide the women their basic needs, an atmosphere of a family home, and help develop their skills to become a self-sufficient and nurturing parent.
We carry on all our inspired tasks through God's providence with faith, perseverance, love, and trust in God. The Divine Mercy message is simple, yet powerful -- "Jesus, I trust in you." Trust is the essence of the Divine Mercy message.
The Divine Mercy Eucharistic Society was founded in the Diocese of Oakland, California, in 1990. The society is a member of the World Apostolic Congress on mercy in Rome.
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Our MissionOur commitment is a response to the call of our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II's message of June 1997:
"The Church must consider it one of her principal duties at every stage of history and especially in our modern age to proclaim and to introduce into life the mystery of God's mercy, supremely revealed in Jesus Christ. This mystery is the source of a life different from life which can be built by man. I ask you: accept this responsibility! The people of today need your proclamation of Mercy: they need your works of mercy and they need your prayers to obtain mercy. Do not neglect any of these dimensions of the apostolate". (JPII) Krakow-Lagiewniki June 1997)
We are dedicated to promoting this comforting message through annual conferences, retreats, and formation program to assist others develop their spiritual lives so as to have a life-changing encounter with the Risen Christ and thus be more effective in their Christian witness. We help them deepen their sacramental lives by Eucharistic adoration, through the sacrament of reconciliation, and through our Contemplative Prayer Academy. Spreading the message and spirituality found in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, and the life and writings of St. Faustina Kowalska and other saints are part of our evangelization outreach. We emphasize the teachings of Jesus Christ through the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the importance of prayer and the sanctity of life and marriage. We also promote the practice of corporal works of mercy by reaching out to the less fortunate for the establishment of a more just and peaceful society.
History of Divine Mercy Eucharistic SocietyThe Divine Mercy Eucharistic Society had its inception in 1986 when Thelma Orias was miraculously healed which was an unknowing, unforgettable tangible experience of God's mercy in her life.
The apostolate was started in late 1989 when Mrs. Orias opened her heart with total surrender to our Lord's calling for conversion. At the time a greater awareness of the reality of God's love and mercy for her and all humankind had become a daily lived experience which caused her to make permanent changes in her life to share God's love. It was during her daily meditations and weekly adoration that she encountered the Divine Mercy message, and she was inspired to share the message with others throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Toward the end of 1990, the first task in this inspired mission was to donate an image of the Divine Mercy to St. Joseph Church in San Francisco. The image was enthroned and the first Feast of the Divine Mercy in the San Francisco Bay Area was celebrated in April 1991. Some devotees and volunteers joined Mrs. Orias to help spread the message.
In 1992, the replica of the Divine Mercy image was received from the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Krakow, Poland. At the time the image was brought to various homes, hospitals, and prayer groups to share and promote the Divine Mercy message.
In 1993, Sister Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun who was given the Divine Mercy message and devotion, was beatified. This intensified and confirmed the determination of Mrs. Orias and a group of devotees to continue to spread God's love and mercy.
In 1994, our very first major event was a conference held at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco. It was called the "First Divine Mercy Peace and Healing Convention" and drew 1,200 Catholics from all walks of life.
Later in 1994 — with the Holy Spirit's prodding - we organized a major religious procession in the streets of San Francisco, the first one in 30 years, to promote the Divine Mercy message.
Subsequently we went to work, continuing the propagation of God's love and mercy through yearly conferences, family retreats, youth forums and conventions and pilgrimages through the present, continuously drawing growing crowds. These early efforts ensured that more and more people became aware of, and devoted to the Mercy of God. Priests and religious, who were loyal to our Church's teachings and its leadership, began to support our activities. After witnessing the fruits of the Divine Mercy apostolate and seeing how the Holy Spirit was working powerfully, the Divine Mercy message spread throughout the greater Bay Area. Many bishops, including most of our Bay Area bishops, support and endorse the Divine Mercy message. To date, more than a hundred thousand Divine Mercy devotees have attended at least one of our events, or heard of the word of our ministry.
With the growing number of devotees and benefactors of Divine Mercy, the Holy Spirit planted the seed to establish a center for prayer and ministry dedicated to the mercy of God and to reach out to our unfortunate brothers and sisters who are in need. Over a period of several years the DMES established the Divine Mercy Center and Perpetual Adoration Chapel and Mary's House of Mercy.
Commencing in 1994, an Annual Divine Mercy West Coast Congress, a conference for adults and youth takes place over 2-1/2 days featuring distinguished speakers. It is one of the many ways we spread and teach the message of the Mercy of God through the Diary of St. Faustina, emphasizing the teachings of Jesus Christ through the Catechism of the Catholic Church, especially in the importance of prayer and the sanctity of life and marriage, and live the inspiration of our beloved John Paul II the Great to help ignite the spark of love to create a new civilization of hope!
In 1998, under the name Divine Mercy Foundation, we formed a Board to lead our organization and make decisions, and was officially organized and registered as a nonprofit religious organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. We occupied the former chapel and office of the Sisters of Mercy on the grounds of St. John the Baptist Church in El Cerrito.
In 1999, the Divine Mercy Chapel, the first Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel at the time in the Oakland Diocese was established, where people can adore the Blessed Sacrament for 24 hours / 7 days a week.
Later in 1999, for inspiration, we obtained a handmade monstrance (with red and white rays) to house the Blessed Sacrament. It became a symbol of God's providence for all our works through the power of His mercy.
In 2001, we occupied the Conventual Franciscan Friary and opened our second Adoration Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.
In August 2002, we converted the 13th rooms at the Friary to Mary's House of Mercy, a home for single, pregnant women in crisis.
In 2005, the community changed its name to the Divine Mercy Eucharistic Society to more properly reflect the meaning of our apostolate.
In 2006, DMES signed a contract to purchase 100+ acres of land, which is known as the "Mount of Divine Mercy" and in 2007 DMES closed escrow. This site, which is located on Sheridan Road, Sunol, CA, will be a place of worship focused on promoting the message of Divine Mercy.
DMES active participation in the First World Apostolic Congress on Mercy ("WACOM") held in Rome in March 2008 was by God's design. The appointment we received to be part of the U.S. delegation for this event allowed us to meet personally with Father Patrice Chocholski, Secretary to Cardinal Schonborn, who was personally appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to lead this first world event on God's mercy. Since then our Society is now recognized as part of the world congress organization.
Commencing in 2010, our annual Divine Mercy West Coast Congress, is now known as the Regional American Congress on Mercy ("RACOM"), in alignment with the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy.
September of this year 2010, we have started our first formation program known as the "Divine Mercy Contemplative Prayer Academy". This Prayer Academy is open to all who are called to a contemplative life of prayer and in action.
Today, Thelma Orias, Founder and President, remains and is an active, energetic, and inspiring leader to all, giving everyone the courage to undertake some remarkable tasks that reflect our faith, trust, hope, and assurance in our Lord.
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