The Archdiocese of Philadelphia rejoices to have 11 of her own priests appointed to be Archdiocesan Missionaries of Mercy. These priests are available to help facilitate pastoral initiatives that focus on conversion and divine mercy, with a particular attention given to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

>>SEE RELATED: Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez Commissions Ten New Missionaries of Mercy

Missionaries of Mercy are priests – diocesan or religious – who have been commissioned by the Holy Father to give particular emphasis to the duty shared by all priests to “hear confessions and preach on behalf of and promote the Sacrament of Reconciliation.” They are to be an intentional, visible expression of the mercy of God, which is at the heart of the priesthood and all of Catholic life. In addition, Missionaries of Mercy have the authority, granted by the Holy Father, to pardon these sins reserved to the Holy See:

  • Profaning the Eucharistic species by taking them away or keeping them for a sacrilegious purpose;
  • Use of physical force against the Roman Pontiff;
  • Absolution of an accomplice in a sin against the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue;
  • A direct violation against the sacramental seal by a confessor.
  • The recording by means of a technical device of what the priest or the penitent says in a Sacramental Confession (whether real or simulated), or the divulgation of such a recording through the means of social communication.

CatholicPhilly presents the following interview with Reverend Augustus C. Puleo, Faculty Member and Director of the English Language Program and Spanish Program (ESL) at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood. Read our additional profiles on the new Missionaries of Mercy here.


Rev. Augustus C. Puleo

It was a pleasant surprise for me to be nominated to be a Missionary of Mercy It is an honor for to spread the abundant gift of mercy to all of the faithful throughout the world.  Teaching Spanish and English at the seminary, I will include this boundless gift in all of my classes to instruct seminarians to recognize God’s mercy in their lives and then to learn to have mercy on others.

Hopefully, the seminarians will teach and preach this immense gift in their priesthood.  I have had many opportunities to hear confessions, give retreats, offer Days of Recollection, and do workshops for the English-speaking community and the Latin community in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

I will continue to offer special Masses of Healing in my priesthood in order to include the concept of mercy in my homilies and pastoral work.  These many ways of connecting with people will help me to instruct them and show them how to recognize the great works of mercy in their own lives and how to then give it to others as God has taught us.

One of my greatest thrills is to celebrate the Sacrament of Confession with the faithful.  My greatest hero is Saint Padre Pio, who spent hours and hours in the confessional.  In recent years, many people have not engaged with this Sacrament as often as in the past.  My wish is first to explain the power of this Sacrament and how our lives are changed in many different ways by going to confession—physically, spiritually and emotionally.

All of the faithful should be assured of having a safe, comfortable, and compassionate confession with a gentle confessor.  My ultimate hope is that I can help, with the grace of God and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to bring the faithful closer to a merciful God in their conversions and confessions to become greater disciples of Christ.


To learn more about the Missionaries of Mercy International, please visit  To learn more about the Missionaries of Mercy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia,