Open wide the Holy Door

Categories: Around the Diocese,Year of Mercy

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As the assembly gathered around him, Bishop Donald Kettler opened the Holy Door at St. Mary’s Cathedral Dec. 13. Photos by Dianne Towalski / The Visitor

At the start of the Mass Dec. 13 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud, Bishop Donald Kettler “opened wide” the Holy Door, a special designation to mark the Extraordinary Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis.

Despite the rain, attendees processed from the Mary Center to the front of the church and up the steps to the large wooden door.

“In communion with the Universal Church, this celebration marks the solemn beginning of the Holy Year in our diocesan church; a prelude to the profound experience of grace and reconciliation that awaits us this year,” Bishop Kettler said.

After the blessing, everyone was invited to walk through the Holy Door, which Pope Francis said, represents leaving behind past sins and entering into a new way of living.

“I am convinced that the whole church — that has much need to receive mercy because we are sinners — will find in this jubilee the joy to rediscover and render fruitful the mercy of God, with which we are all called to give consolation to every man and woman of our time,” Pope Francis said.

“Let us not forget that God pardons and God pardons always,” he continued. “Let us never tire of asking for forgiveness.”

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Attendees processed to the front of the church from Mary Center, where the Rite of the Opening of the Door of Mercy began.

The Year of Mercy began Dec. 8 and extends through Nov. 20, 2016. Bishop Kettler encourages everyone to pass through the Holy Door throughout the year as a sign of God’s mercy.