Holy Doors opened as Year of Mercy commences
By Matthew Biddle
THE St Christopher’s Cathedral Holy Door for the Extraordinary Year of Mercy was officially blessed and opened on December 13 in front of more than 800 people.
Located on the Franklin Street side of the cathedral, the Holy Door includes a depiction of the Good Shepherd carrying the lost sheep on his shoulders, while the theme of the Holy Year, ‘Merciful like the Father’ is displayed above the door.
During his homily for the Mass, Archbishop Christopher Prowse said the occasion was “a wonderful moment of grace”.
“In opening the Doors of Mercy in all the cathedrals of the world, we invite Jesus Christ, the fullness of the Father’s merciful love on us, to enter into our lives during this Jubilee Year,” he said.
“I pray that those who come through the Mercy Door truly feel that they are coming through the heart of Jesus, who is mercy personified.
“I pray that anybody coming through this door might receive God’s plenary indulgence of forgiveness, and is given strength through the sacraments, especially through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and the mother of all the sacraments, the Eucharist, to turn afresh towards Jesus.”
Reflecting on the Jubilee Year, the Archbishop stressed the importance of conversion and repentance as being the best response to God’s merciful initiative towards us.
“All of us as a whole Church, and all of us as individuals are to turn around 180 degrees from darkness into the light of God’s forgiving mercy,” he said.
“Every day we’re called to make little acts of conversion. These conversions move away from selfishness and move towards selflessness. It’s a turning away from sin and turning towards grace.”
The practical dimension of such conversion, Archbishop Christopher said, would be the active practice of works of mercy.
“Over this year, Pope Francis calls us to visit again the Catholic tradition as it expresses itself in the spiritual works of mercy and corporal works of mercy,” he said.
“We particularly make our outreach to those on the periphery and the margins of society. Also, the margins of our own family and the margins of our neighbourhoods.”
The Holy Door will be lit at night during the Year of Mercy, which ends on November 20.
A Holy Door was also opened on December 8 in the Archdiocese’s Coastal Deanery, at the church of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Cobargo.
The celebration was led by Fr James Antony CMI, Dean of the Coastal Deanery, with assistance from clergy from each of the coastal parishes.