WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Pope Francis Closes Jubilee Door of Mercy

WelCom December 2016:

On Sunday 20 November, the Feast of Christ the King, Pope Francis closed the Holy Door in St Peter’s Basilica, officially marking the end of the Jubilee of Mercy.

‘This Year of Mercy invites us to rediscover the core, to return to what is essential,’ the Pope said.

The ‘time of mercy’ lived during the Jubilee serves as a call to look to ‘the true face of our King,’ and to rediscover ‘the youthful, beautiful face of the Church, the face that is radiant when it is welcoming, free, faithful, poor in means but rich in love, on mission.’

Mercy takes us ‘to the heart of the Gospel, urges us to give up habits and practices which may be obstacles to serving the Kingdom of God’ and urges us to align ourselves ‘only in the perennial and humble kingship of Jesus.’

After closing the Holy Door the Pope processed to the square outside, where he celebrated Mass with 70,000 pilgrims present.

Pope Francis encouraged pilgrims to pray for the grace to never close the doors ‘of reconciliation and pardon,’ explaining that just as God believes in us beyond any of our own merits, ‘so too we are called to instil hope and provide opportunities to others.

‘Even if the Holy Door closes, the true door of mercy which is the heart of Christ always remains open wide for us,’ he said.

He offered thanks for the many pilgrims who during the Jubilee crossed the Holy Door away from ‘the clamour’ of daily news and tasted the ‘great goodness’ of the Lord, and asked Mary to intercede for us as the Holy Year comes to an end.

‘May our Blessed Lady accompany us…She is Mother of Mercy, to whom we entrust ourselves: every situation we are in, every prayer we make, when lifted up to his merciful eyes, will find
an answer.’

Pope Francis led pilgrims in praying the Angelus, telling them to give thanks to God ‘for the gift that the Holy Year of Mercy has been for the Church and for many people
of goodwill.’

At the end of the celebration Pope Francis signed his new apostolic letter ‘Misericordia et misera’ addressed to the Church ‘to live continue to live mercy with the same intensity experienced during the entire Extraordinary Jubilee.’

Source: CNA News; Catholic Online


A group of 59 parishioners from the Catholic Parish of Napier – Te Parihi Katorika ki Ahuriri, sang their way through the Holy Doors of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Palmerston North, on 29 October.

The pilgrimage was another step for the parish, established in 2015, of uniting through discipleship, friendship and love the Holy Spirit brings. It came just after the parish promulgated its new vision and mission, formed after wide consultation with parishioners who make up the faith communities of St Patrick’s, St Thomas More, and
St Mary’s.

The mission statement includes ‘to reach out to the poor and serve the people of Napier’. Fittingly, the pilgrims reflected on the question: ‘How will you personally respond to the parable of the lost sheep?’ (Luke 15:4-7).

The Jubilee Year of Mercy may have ended, but the task of mercy continues for all parishioners as they continue their earthly pilgrimage.


The Holy Doors of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit closed on Sunday 20 November. Fr Brian Walsh, Vicar General, led the congregation from the Cathedral at the end of 9.30am Mass to gather on Broadway, where he formally closed the doors and sent parishioners to live the Gospel of Mercy in their daily lives. Since then the doors have had the symbol removed but the mural of new life remains.


The Doors of Mercy Remain Open!

A full Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Wellington celebrated the end of the Year of Mercy says Fr Patrick Bridgman after the closing Mass for the Holy Year of Mercy, Sunday 20 November. ‘As the people processed through the Doors of Mercy at the Mass end, all gathered closely to hear Mons Gerard Burn speak the words that brought this sacred year to a close. The Doors themselves were not closed and remained wide open as a reflection on the call we all have to “throw open our merciful hearts!” Cardinal John Dew invites this of us in the card he sent to all parishioners of the Archdiocese – Mercy never ends. “I te wairua atawhai – in the spirit of Mercy.”’