The Jubilee Year of Mercy and the Holy Door at Saint Theresa Catholic Church
“We constantly need to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it.
– Pope Francis
On May 15, 2015, Pope Francis announced an extraordinary jubilee, a Holy Year of Mercy from December 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception until November 20, 2016, the Sunday dedicated to Christ the King. Pope Francis invites us to think about mercy anew as the “act by which God comes to meet us” but also mercy as 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”.
He invites us to live by this mercy in our parishes and lives, to forgive others as well as to seek reconciliation. He challenges us to understand mercy and justice as “two dimensions of the same reality” on the way of conversion of the sinner towards love.
Cardinal DiNardo has decreed that a Holy Door be opened at specific churches, which will serve also as pilgrimage sites during the Holy Year. Our parish is honored to have been among those selected as pilgrimage sites. Via the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston:
Pope Francis has declared a Jubilee Year of Mercy to allow us us to focus on and deepen our gratitude for the loving mercy of God. As with all jubilee years, the Year of Mercy will include the use of a Holy Door, a specially designated entrance that has spiritual and symbolic meaning for Catholics.
In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, passing through a Holy Door is part of the pilgrimage that all Catholics are encouraged to make, whether during a trip to Rome or a trip to the cathedrals or specially designated churches in their own dioceses. These pilgrimages come with special graces, and they allow each of us to share in the many blessings of the Holy Year.