In the springtime, Pope Francis announced a Holy Year of Mercy to begin on December 8, 2015, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The Holy Year will begin with the opening of the Holy Door at St. Peter’s in Rome coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council. The Holy Year will be concluded on November 20, 2016, the Feast of Christ the King.
On Sunday, December 12, 2015 in Rome, the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Rome, the Basilica of St. John Lateran, will be opened. On the following Sundays the other Holy Doors of the other Papal Basilicas will be opened.
Our diocesan observance of the Holy Year will begin on Sunday, December 13, 2015 at the 10:30 a.m. Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral. This celebration will include the opening of the Door of Mercy at the Cathedral. Other churches that will have a Door of Mercy are: Our Lady of Victory Basilica—Lackawanna; St. Leo the Great—Amherst; St. Hyacinth of Blessed Mary Angela Parish—Dunkirk; St. Mary of the Angels—Olean; Our Lady of Mercy—LeRoy; The Basilica Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima—Youngstown; and Corpus Christi—Buffalo. These churches are set aside as pilgrimage sites as a means to reflect on and experience God’s Mercy
During this Holy Year we will contemplate the Mercy of God in our own lives and for the salvation of the world with the hope that we will be as merciful as God and extend God’s mercy to those around us.