Catholic Church Celebrates the Opening of the Jubilee Year of Mercy
December 8, 2015 – November 20, 2016
Pope Francis today marked the beginning of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy in the Catholic Church by opening the Holy Door in Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on this Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Jubilee Year of Mercy is celebrated not only in Rome, but in every diocese around the world. It concludes November 20, 2016 on the feast of Christ the King.
The Diocese of Toledo today unveiled a Year of Mercy banner on the exterior of the Pastoral Center installed last Friday, inviting Catholics and all people of good will to accept Jesus Christ’s invitation to “Come, Enter Into My Mercy.” The 67’ x 20’ banner is located on the eastern side of the Pastoral Center facing the corner of Spielbusch Avenue and Cherry Street in downtown Toledo.
Other diocesan events centered on mercy include the opening of Holy Doors of Mercy on Sunday, December 13 at four separate sites across the Diocese of Toledo – Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral in Toledo, Basilica & National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Sorrowful Mother Shrine in Bellevue and Divine Mercy Parish in Paulding. The opening of the Holy Door at Rosary Cathedral will occur at this weekend’s 10 a.m. Sunday Mass celebrated by Bishop Daniel E. Thomas.
More information on all of the Year of Mercy events in the Diocese of Toledo can be found at www.toledodiocese.org/yearofmercy.
Traditionally, every 25 or 50 years the Holy Father proclaims a holy year, which features special celebrations and pilgrimages, emphatic calls for conversion and repentance, and the offer of special opportunities to experience God’s grace through the sacraments, especially confession. Extraordinary holy years, like the Year of Mercy, are less frequent, but offer the same opportunities for spiritual growth.
The biblical theme chosen for the Jubilee Year of Mercy is “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful,” from the Gospel of Luke.
“[God the Father] sent his only Son into the world, born of the Virgin Mary, to reveal his love for us in a definitive way,” Pope Francis wrote in Misericordiae Vultus, the bull of indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. “Whoever sees Jesus sees the Father. Jesus of Nazareth, by his words, his actions, and his entire person reveals the mercy of God.”
In this Year of Mercy, Bishop Daniel Thomas, together with all the lay faithful, consecrated religious, deacons and priests of the Diocese of Toledo, will strive to heed Pope Francis’ call to celebrate this Jubilee by more vibrantly “living out in our daily lives the mercy which the Father constantly extends to all of us” (Misericordiae Vultus, 25).