In accordance with the decree of Pope Francis and in unity with bishops all over the world, Bishop Kevin J. Farrell will open the “Door of Mercy” at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe at 2215 Ross Avenue in Dallas at 12 noon Mass on Sunday, December 13th.
The diocesan celebration follows the opening of the Jubilee Year of Mercy for the universal Church by Pope Francis in Rome, on December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. On that date, the Pope opened the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican that it may, he said, “become a Door of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons and instills hope.”
In his proclamation of the Holy Year, Pope Francis instructed that on December 13, a “Door of Mercy” be opened in cathedral churches throughout the world so that the Holy Year may be an extraordinary moment of grace and spiritual conversion to all who seek mercy and a visible sign of the Church’s universal communion.
A Holy Door has been used for centuries as a ritual expression of conversion as pilgrims pass through it, as a gesture of the leaving the past behind and crossing the threshold from sin to grace. In his proclamation, Pope Francis encourages the faithful to make a pilgrimage to their local “Door of Mercy.” The Pope explained that the practice of pilgrimage has a special place in the Holy Year, because it represents the journey each of us makes in life.”
At the cathedral, Bishop Farrell will lead a procession as Mass begins to the “Door of Mercy” and will pray, “Open the gates of justice, we shall enter and give thanks to the Lord” (Ps. 118:19). As the doors open, the bishop will continue, “This is the Lord’s own gate: let us enter through it and obtain mercy.” After which he will lead the procession through the opened “Door of Mercy” back into the sanctuary.