Opening of the Holy Door
On Saturday evening last at 6:30pm Bishop John Buckley opened the Holy Door for the Jubilee of Mercy announced by Pope Francis to begin on 8th December until 26th November 2016. Last Tuesday Pope Francis inaugurated the year by opening the Holy Door at Saint Peters Basilica in Rome.
The opening of the door here in Cork at Saint Francis Church, Liberty Street, Cork coincided with Pope Francis opening the door of his Cathedral Church in the Diocese of Rome, Saint John Lateran. Each Bishop across the world was asked to open the Holy Door of Mercy in his Diocese this weekend. The ceremony began with the reading of the Bull of Indiction by John Mangan, of Enniskeane Parish before Bishop Buckley began the ceremony outside the door leading a group of representatives from parish ministries across the Diocese of Cork and Ross which included: young people from the Songs of Faith project and the NET ministries team; Parish Baptism Preparation Teams; Parish Catechists; Deacons in training; RCIA groups; Parish Assemblies and Pastoral Councils; Finance Committees; Ministers of Word and Eucharist; Altar Servers; Eucharistic Adoration committee and men and women of Religious Orders. In this procession through the Holy Door seven different nationalities were represented. Bishop Buckley was joined by priests from the Franciscans and the Capuchins and the ceremony was prepared by Fr Charles Kiely of the Pastoral Development Office who also was MC.
In his homily Bishop Buckley referred to his recent Pastoral Letter sent to all parishes last week, and his story from the Titanic sinking of an English Catholic priest by the name of Fr Thomas Byles, who refused two offers of a lifeboat so that he could offer help to women and children and to hear the confessions of many people before the ship went down. Bishop reminded us that this is Mercy in action. This Jubilee of Mercy invites us to take to heart Pope Francis message of mercy that is central to his Pontificate. He asks us to come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation seeking Gods love and mercy in our own lives and then to offer that same love and mercy to others ? when we welcome the stranger, visit the sick, forgive those who have done wrong, share our wealth with the needy, act justly towards others, and offer help to our neighbour. The Holy Door will remain open for the year and the people of the Diocese are invite to come to the Church where the sign over the door says: Let us enter and obtain mercy and forgiveness.
During the year the Pastoral Development Office in the Diocese will offer a programme of events including: a Pilgrimage of Mercy in the city, a talk on the theme Pope Francis and the Gospel of Mercy and scripture sessions Encountering Mercy in the Gospel of Luke details will be announced later.