Local businesses in the Jackson area assisted with the detail work of the Holy Doors that were designated in St. Aloysius ChurchJackson. Each panel of six doors has a laminated cover detailing the Bishops Coat of Arms and the Papal Coat of Arms along with the Prayer of Pope Francis for the Jubilee and the Decree for the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. Also added are the logos of Merciful like the Father and Mother of Mercy and two quotes on mercy. The two center ‘Holy Doors,’ which are currently sealed, be officially opened at the 10:30 a.m. Mass Dec. 13. Photo courtesy of St. Aloysius Parish
It is a time for mercy, to seek forgiveness and to be merciful as our Father in Heaven is merciful.
This is the message proclaimed by Pope Francis in announcing the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, echoed here in central New Jersey by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.
In addition to his pastoral letter released last September, Bishop O’Connell has designated the following churches in the Diocese of Trenton as places of pilgrimage. Visiting these sites and following the conditions below offers the chance to receive a plenary indulgence.
The Holy Doors throughout the Diocese were opened Dec. 13, 2015 and will remain open through Nov. 20, 2016.
All Catholics of the Diocese of Trenton who visit one of these churches and its Holy Door of Mercy on pilgrimage and who fulfill the conditions ordinarily attached to an indulgence (remission of temporal punishment for sins already forgiven, see canon 992) shall, with the proper intention and disposition, receive the plenary Jubilee Indulgence available during the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. Those conditions are:
1. Recipient must be a baptized Catholic in the state of grace (free from mortal sin) at time of indulgenced work (pilgrimage);
2. Recipient must internally express a detachment from and rejection of sin at time of indulgenced work (pilgrimage);
3. Recipient must make a sacramental confession within 20 days of indulgenced work (pilgrimage), preferably but not required on the day itself;
4. Recipient must receive Holy Communion within 20 days of indulgenced work (pilgrimage), preferably but not required on the day itself;
5. Recipient must pray for the intention of the Holy Father at the time of the indulgenced work (pilgrimage), usually the “Profession of Faith (from Mass),” one “Our Father,” one “Hail Mary” and one “Glory be to the Father” or other suitable prayers.
The Jubilee Plenary Indulgence may be obtained for the living or the dead and will be available only one time daily. Parish pilgrimages to churches with the Holy Door of Mercy can be arranged in consultation with the pastors of the parishes concerned. More will be written about the Holy Year of Mercy in the coming weeks.
The following parishes, selected as pilgrimage churches for the Holy Year of Mercy by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., have announced plans for the formal opening of their designated Holy Year Doors. Throughout the Diocese, the Holy Doors shall remain open from Dec. 13, 2015 through Nov. 20, 2016.
The Holy Door is an special part of the celebrations which take place during a Jubilee Year. The use of these doors dates back to at least 1475. The Holy Door is a unique door in each of the Major Papal Basilicas in Rome which is ordinarily sealed with brick, but which is opened for Jubilee Years when pilgrims cross through it as a symbolic gesture. The symbolism of these doors is thought to come from the ancient practice of offering ‘sanctuary’ in churches to those who had run afoul of the law. So too, today, the Church remains a home for sinners and invites us to cross the Threshold of the Holy Door and open our hearts to receive the mercy of Christ.
As not everyone can travel to Rome to cross the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica, The Most Reverend David O’Connell, CM, Bishop of Trenton, has designated a door in our parish to serve as a local Holy Door during the Jubilee of Mercy. In this way, greater numbers of the faithful may receive the fruits of the Jubilee offered according to the wishes of the Holy Father, Pope Francis.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19)
The first Jubilee Year was proclaimed in 1300 by Pope Boniface VIII. The ‘Jubilee Year’ or ‘Holy Year’ is a special time of grace in the life of the Church. Since that first Jubilee, there have been only 29 others. Pope Francis has called for a Jubilee of Mercy to be held from 8 December 2015 until 20 November 2016 in order to draw the eyes of the Church and of the world, in a particularly focused way, to the splendor of the mercy of God.
As we celebrate this Jubilee Year of Mercy we are called by Pope Francis to greater conversion of heart, greater fidelity to the Sacrament of Confession, and greater efforts to be beacons of mercy in our world.
“I wish that the Jubilee Indulgence may reach each one as a genuine experience of God’s mercy, which comes to meet each person in the Face of the Father who welcomes and forgives, forgetting completely the sin committed. To experience and obtain the Indulgence, the faithful are called to make a brief pilgrimage to the Holy Door, open in every Cathedral or in the churches designated by the Diocesan Bishop […] as a sign of the deep desire for true conversion. […] It is important that this moment be linked, first and foremost, to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist with a reflection on mercy. It will be necessary to accompany these celebrations with the profession of faith and with prayer for me and for the intentions that I bear in my heart for the good of the Church and of the entire world.” (Pope Francis, Letter, 1 Sep. 2015)
The Jubilee Indulgence can be gained only once a day and may be applied to yourself or to souls in Purgatory. The prayers mentioned by Pope Francis can be found HERE.
St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton •.Dec. 13, Mass to open Holy Door, 10:30 a.m. For information, call 609-396-8447 or visit www.stmaryscathedral.org.
Divine Mercy, Trenton • Dec. 13, Opening of the Holy Door at 10 a.m. prior to Mass in Holy Cross Church, 201 Adeline Street (note corrected address from previously published list). For the duration of the Holy Year of Mercy, an additional Mass will be celebrated in Holy Cross Church every Wednesday, beginning Dec. 16, at 12:10 p.m., followed by an opportunity for Confession. For information, call 609-393-4826 or visit www.divinemercyoftrenton.org.
St. Gregory the Great, Hamilton Square • Dec. 13, Mass, 10:30 a.m., opening of the Holy Door. For information, call 609-587-4877 or visit www.stgregorythegreatchurch.org.
St. George, Titusville • Dec. 12, Mass, 5:30 p.m., Dec. 13, Masses, 9, 10:15 and 11:30 a.m., will celebrate the opening of the Holy Door. For information, call 609-737-2015 or visit www.thechurchofstgeorge.org.
St. Katharine Drexel, Burlington • Dec. 13, opening of the Holy Door, located at St. Paul Church, 226 E. Union Street. For information, call 609-386-0152 or visit www.stkatharinedrexel-nj.org
St. Mary, Middletown • Dec. 13, Mass, 10:30 a.m., will begin with the opening of the Holy Door, Sacrament of Reconciliation, every weeknight, 7 p.m. (during the Jubilee year of Mercy). For information, call 732-671-0071 or www.stmarychurchnj.org.
St. Mary, Colts Neck • Dec. 13, Mass, noon. For information, call 732-780-2666 or visit www.stmarycoltsneck.com.
Holy Cross, Rumson • Dec. 13, Mass, 10:30 a.m., followed by hospitality. For information, call 732-842-0348 or visit www.holycrossrumson.org.
St. Robert Bellarmine, Freehold • Dec. 13, Mass, 10 a.m., opening of the Holy Door; Confessions, Tues. evenings, beginning Dec. 8, 7 to 8 p.m. For information, call 732-462-7429 or visit www.strobert.com.
St. Catherine, Middletown • Dec. 14, Masses, 8 a.m., noon (Traditional Latin) and 7 p.m. (Benediction) will honor the Feast of St. Lucy. All Masses will combine the Blessing of the Relic of St. Lucy and the opening of the Holy Door. For information, call 732-787-1318 or visit www.stcathek.org.
St. Peter, Point Pleasant Beach • Dec. 13, Mass, 10:30 a.m. including opening of Holy Door, which will remain open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. For information, call 732-892-0049 or visit www.saintpetersonline.org.
St. Barnabas, Bayville • Dec. 12, Mass, 4 p.m., will incorporate a blessing and opening of the Holy Door. For information, call 732-269-2208 or visit www.stbarnabasbayville.com.
St. Aloysius, Jackson • Dec. 13, prior to 10:30 a.m. Mass, a short rite for the opening of the Holy Door. During the Holy Year, there will be two images for meditation on God’s mercy. Behind the ambo will be a reproduction of Rembrandt’s “The Return of the Prodigal Son” and behind the presider’s chair an original artwork of the Divine Mercy by parishioner John Genuard. Under each Station of the Cross will also be a “Station of Mercy” corresponding to one of the Corporal or Spiritual Works of Mercy, along with a Stations of Mercy Meditation Booklet. For information, call 732-370-0500 or visit www.saintaloysiusonline.org.