SAGINAW — In union with Pope Francis and Catholics around the globe, the Church of Saginaw is celebrating a Jubilee of Mercy. Pope Francis announced the extraordinary jubilee dedicated to Divine Mercy earlier this year, and desires all members of the church to participate. It began on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8, 2015) and will end on the feast of Christ the King, on Nov. 20, 2016.
“By inviting us to receive and imitate the mercy of God, Pope Francis is not just calling us to seek forgiveness for our own sins or even to extend forgiveness to others,” said the Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw. “Rather, we are called to allow God to radically transform our own hearts into the very heart of Christ, a heart which burns deeply with compassion and kindness for others."
In his homily message on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Bishop Cistone encouraged the faithful to renew or develop a relationship with Mary, the Mother of Mercy.
“We pray that through the grace of her son, Jesus, all of us may be more ready to generously share God’s kindness, His gentleness, His love, mercy and compassionate care with those around us.”
Pilgrimage to enter Holy Doors at Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption and designated Sacred Heart Church locations
On Tuesday, Dec.8, Pope Francis opened the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, inaugurating the Jubilee of Mercy. This weekend, Holy Doors will be opened in dioceses around the world, including the Diocese of Saginaw. Pilgrims will have an opportunity to pass through the Holy Door, thus expressing their willingness to “enter” into the mercy and love of God. There is a Holy Door at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption and at seven designated Sacred Heart Church locations throughout the diocese. The churches are located in different areas of the diocese to encourage all people to make the journey.
In the Diocese of Saginaw, Holy Doors will be opened this weekend (December 12 and 13) at the following churches at the designated times:
• Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption, 615 Hoyt Ave., Saginaw (5:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 13. The Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, will preside)
• Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish Church, 302 S. Kinney Blvd., Mount Pleasant (5 p.m. Saturday Vigil, Dec. 12)
• Sacred Heart Church, St. Hubert Parish, 311 Whitelam St., Bad Axe (4:30 p.m. Saturday Vigil, Dec. 12)
• Sacred Heart Church, Ss. Francis & Clare Parish, 12157 Church St., Birch Run (4 p.m. Saturday Vigil, Dec. 12)
• Sacred Heart Church, St. Christopher Parish, 140 Atwood St., Caro (5 p.m. Saturday Vigil, Dec. 12)
• Sacred Heart Church, Sacred Heart Parish, 300 N. Silverleaf St., Gladwin (5 p.m. Saturday Vigil, Dec. 12)
• Sacred Heart Church, Prince of Peace Parish, 2510 S. Fraser Rd., Kawkawlin (8:15 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 13)
• Sacred Heart Church, St. John XXIII Parish, 445 S. Midland St., Merrill (9 a.m. Sunday Dec. 13)
The establishment of the Holy Doors traces its roots back to early Christians who used the practice as a public sign of penance before they could return to their faith community. Today, pilgrims who enter through these doors during a Holy Year are making a public acknowledgment of turning away from sin and a recommitment to their faith.
“I pray that this Year of Mercy enkindles within our own diocese an atmosphere of mutual love, respect, concern and acceptance among all our beloved people,” Bishop Cistone said. “I encourage you to use this Year of Mercy, on a diocesan, parish and individual level, to deepen your own relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and, if necessary, to re-establish your relationship with the Church and your local parish.”
More information about the Year of Mercy and about indulgences can be found here.
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