November 25, 2015 The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend announced that, in accordance with Pope Francis, three symbolic Holy Doors will be opened on Sunday, December 13, 2015, the Third Sunday of Advent. The opening of the doors will mark the beginning of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades will preside over Mass at 5:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne. Msgr. Michael Heintz will preside over Mass at 11:00 a.m. at Saint Matthew Cathedral in South Bend. Fr. Peter Rocca, C.S.C., Basilica rector, will preside over Mass at the Sacred Heart Basilica at Notre Dame during the 10:00 a.m. Mass. All are welcome to attend.
In April of this year, Pope Francis announced that, starting Dec. 8, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and the 50th anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council, an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy will be observed by the Catholic Church through November 2016. Pope Francis will start by opening a Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica that remains sealed except during jubilee years. The symbolic opening of the mercy doors signifies living out this Holy Year as an extraordinary moment of grace and spiritual renewal.
“By crossing the threshold of the Holy Door, we will find the strength to embrace God’s mercy and dedicate ourselves to being merciful with others as the Father has been with us,” Pope Francis wrote in his Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee. The Year of Mercy is an opportunity for Catholics worldwide to experience God’s healing mercy. Pope Francis encourages Catholics to forgive, listen to God’s Word and practice the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
Bishop Rhoades invites all to participate in the celebration of the Mass for the opening of the Holy Doors. The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend will be unveiling more opportunities for Catholics to participate in this Holy Year of Mercy. Bishop Rhoades will begin the Jubilee Year with a Vigil Mass on Monday, December 5, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne. The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend is also hosting “Faustina: Messenger of Divine Mercy,” a live, one-woman play that helps bring to life the possibility that sanctity and holiness are possible for every person. More information can be found at www.diocesefwsb.org.