Christ the King
Parishioners to visit Holy Doors of Mercy at Oakland November 7th at 6:00 pm
Pope Francis declared a Jubilee Year of Mercy: twelve months for us to focus on and deepen our gratitude for the loving mercy of God. As with all jubilee years, the Year of Mercy included the use of a Holy Door, a specially designated entrance that has spiritual and symbolic meaning for Catholics. The use of these doors dates back to at least 1475 as a ritual expression of conversion. 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. Pilgrims and penitents pass through the door as a gesture of leaving the past behind and crossing the threshold from sin to grace, from slavery to freedom, and from darkness to light. Often these rituals are associated with prayer, pilgrimage, sacrifice, confession, and indulgences. But a holy door finds meaning only when the believers associate the door with Christ. Jesus is the Door!
During these days, a number of parishes from our diocese have been making pilgrimage to the Cathedral Doors of Mercy. Let us as a parish make this pilgrimage as a sign of conversion of hearts and dedicating our lives to acts of mercy in our world. I would like to invite you to come to the Cathedral around 5.45 pm on November 7
Monday and then we shall joyfully enter the Doors of Mercy and celebrate Mass at the Cathedral. We shall arrange a couple of buses if there are sufficient people. Some of us can arrive there directly from work. BART is another option for others. In the days to come, we shall put out more information for you. I am grateful for the opportunity to celebrate God’s mercy.
The Pope has extended to everyone who passes through the Holy Door, the opportunity to receive a Jubilee Indulgence, a plenary indulgence.
A plenary indulgence is the complete remission of all temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven. In addition to prayerfully crossing through the Holy Door, the Pope has established five conditions to be met in order to receive this indulgence:
1) You must be in a state of grace.
2) You must go to Confession within about 20 days.
3) You must receive Holy Communion within about 20 days.
4) You must make a Profession of Faith and pray for the intentions of the Pope (typically one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be).
5) You must have “the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin”.
Whether you believe in indulgences or not, the idea of experiencing God’s mercy and forgiveness in the sacrament of Confession is the beginning of our conversion. We shall offer multiple opportunities for reconciliation on the Saturday before November 7
. May God bless us all.