During the Year of Mercy, which will end on 20 November 2016, Pope Francis called for a more merciful and inclusive Church in “which we are all called to give consolation to each man and each woman of our time”. In response, the relics of our diocesan patron, St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, and St Teresa of Kolkata accompanied by a Mercy Cross have been on a three-month pilgrimage through the Diocese of Parramatta.
The Way of Mercy pilgrimage will conclude on Sunday 13 November 2016 with a ceremony at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta. The Cathedral Parish will host the gathering with St Monica’s Parish, North Parramatta; St Bernadette’s Parish, Dundas Valley; Christ the King Parish, North Rocks; and Holy Name of Mary Parish, Rydalmere.
Everyone is welcome to take part in the ceremony, which will include the arrival of the Cross and Relics. The Way of Mercy procession will commence at 4.30pm on the oval at the Old King’s School adjacent to the Cathedral. Mercy representatives from across the Diocese will represent parishes and schools, religious communities, migrant communities, health, prison and university chaplaincies, and Catholic groups and movements.
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv will preside at the 6pm Mass when Mercy representatives of parishes and schools will receive an image of Rembrandt’s The Return of the Prodigal Son. Following the Mass, Bishop Vincent will close the Cathedral’s Holy Door.
A sausage sizzle will follow with gold coin donations going to Arrupe Place in North Parramatta, a drop-in centre for newly arrived Australians run by Jesuit Refugee Service Australia.
Holy Doors in the basilicas of Rome and in dioceses across the world will close on this day, including Holy Doors at the Shrine of the Holy Innocents at Kellyville, the Schoenstatt Shrine at Mulgoa and the Polish War Memorial Chapel at Marayong.
The Jubilee Year of Mercy will end on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, on Sunday 20 November 2016 when Pope Francis will close the Holy Door in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
To view photos and videos from the Way of Mercy Pilgrimage, click here.