On 8 December this year, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Francis will open a usually sealed door of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome as a symbolic door of God’s mercy.
During the Jubilee Year of Mercy, millions of pilgrims will pass through this door as a stepping into the arms of God’s mercy and renewal.
The Jubilee will be celebrated in every diocese of the world, where there will also be a designated door for the many of us who are obviously unable to visit Rome.
In our Diocese, this door will be at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta. It will be the eastern door at the top of the entry steps, closest to the new statue of St John Paul II and his friends.
The themes of the Jubilee will call people to be merciful like the Father, to rediscover works of mercy, to receive sacramental healing and strength, to dialogue with those in our world who are different to us and to truly participate in God’s merciful love.
Likewise, our cathedral will have specially prepared focuses and activities reflecting these themes and into which we as local pilgrims can be drawn.
Our Holy Door will be opened on the 3rd Sunday of Advent, 13 December 2013, at the 11am Mass. All are most welcome to attend. During the year of the Jubilee, this will be the only door through which to enter at the front of the cathedral.
The tradition of gaining a plenary indulgence will apply during the Jubilee Year and more will be communicated about this as the Jubilee begins.
In brief, it is a special favour of God’s grace and love with which we can be blessed by participating in certain spiritual, sacramental and merciful expressions.
The focuses and themes around our cathedral’s door of mercy will continue throughout the year. The special sense of passing through this threshold of God’s mercy will be emphasised until the close of the Jubilee in November 2016.
During the course of the year, many people from our parishes, Diocese and beyond will be able to participate meaningfully with a pilgrimage to St Patrick’s Cathedral.
Editor’s note: After publication of this article, The Year of Mercy Holy Door was changed to the centre door at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Full details available here: http://www.mercyhasaface.org.au/#!get-involved—locations/zoom/ppdkc/dataItem-ihr3v8r2 and here: http://catholicoutlook.org/doors-of-mercy-opened-in-parramatta