Bishop Joseph Kopacz opened the Holy Door at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle Sunday, Dec. 13. Pope Francis had already opened the Holy Doors at the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome on Tuesday, Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, to begin an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. Catholic faithful around the world are encouraged to perform corporal and spiritual works of mercy during the year and dedicate themselves to bringing mercy to life in our troubled world.
The Diocese of Jackson has a whole year’s worth of opportunities for prayer, pilgrimage and action.
– Keep up with Jubilee Year of Mercy events around the world here.
The faithful are encouraged to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Door in their diocese during the year.
As distance may be a factor for some, Bishop Joseph Kopacz has designated several pilgrimage sites around the diocese as places of prayer, mercy and reconciliation.
In a letter to pastors at the designated sites, Bishop Kopacz wrote: “Since pilgrimage is a key element of any jubilee year and to allow the faithful who may not be able to make it to the cathedral to participate in the pilgrimage of walking through a holy door, I have designated numerous pilgrimage sites around our diocese. In several places I have designated all parishes in a town as “stations” to make up the whole pilgrimage site.
“Pilgrims will need to make a visit to all stations as part of the one pilgrimage. I think asking the faithful to make pilgrimages to several stations in one site reflects the spirit of mercy and forgiveness intended by the Holy Father in declaring this Jubilee of Mercy,” wrote Bishop Kopacz.
In announcing the Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis explained in Misericordiae Vultus, the papal bull declaring the special jubilee: “We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity and peace. Our salvation depends on it. Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.
“At times we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives. For this reason I have proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy as a special time for the Church, a time when the witness of believers might grow stronger and more effective.”
Maureen Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Communications
Catholic Diocese of Jackson