Diocese to kick off local ‘Year of Mercy’ observances Dec. 20

25 Nov 2015

Diocese of Metuchen to kick off local ‘Year of Mercy’ observances Dec. 20
Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski to open Holy Door at Metuchen Cathedral, celebrate Mass

On Dec. 20, at Noon, the Diocese of Metuchen will begin its formal observance of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy with the opening of a Door of Mercy, or Holy Door, at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi followed by Mass celebrated by Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski. All are welcome to attend.

It was on the second anniversary of his election that Pope Francis declared a Jubilee Year that will focus on mercy, one of the most important themes of his papacy.

The Holy Father called for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy to begin on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, and conclude in 2016 on the Solemnity of the feast of Christ the King, November 20.

The Pope stated that he wants his Church of 1.2 billion members to be more merciful and less rigid toward sinners. He declared a Jubilee year as an encounter for all members, and the Church itself, to rediscover the need to be forgiving and generous.

“During this time, we are called to remember that God ‘never tires of throwing open the doors of his heart’ to us and that we, in turn, have a responsibility to be ‘heralds of mercy’ to others, especially through our practice of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy (Misericordiae Vultus, nos. 25, 15),” wrote Msgr. William Benwell, vicar general and moderator of the curia, who heads the diocesan planning commission for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.

Comprised of diocesan staff, members of the clergy and laypersons, Msgr. Benwell said the commission was formed to find ways to celebrate the Year of Mercy in the local Church and to blend Pope Francis’ observances into the diocesan calendar and planned activities.

As a result of the planning commission, he said, the Office for Catechesis is developing a special curriculum for religious educators and its newspaper, The Catholic Spirit, will run a series of articles profiling “Ministers of Mercy” in the diocese beginning in January 2016.  In the Spring, the Office of Evangelization will hold a three-day conference entitled, “Merciful like the Father: An encounter with MERCY,” and the Office of the Tribunal will host annulment information sessions.

Door of Mercy

The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy will begin in Rome December 8 with the opening of the Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica, allowing visitors to express their desire and commitment to cross the threshold, with Christ, from sin to grace, from darkness to light.

In opening the Holy Door, the Holy Father will strike it three times with a silver hammer. The striking of the door bears great historic significance as it symbolizes the release of graces flowing abundantly to the faithful.

Pope Francis has stated that the Jubilee of Mercy is to be lived intensely in every diocese and eparchy throughout the world. In each, the local Ordinary will decide in which churches Doors of Mercy will be opened.  In the Diocese of Metuchen, Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski will open the Holy Door at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi on Sunday, December 20, prior to the Noon Mass.

The Pope has decreed that the Ordinary may permit the opening of other Doors of Mercy. Locally, pilgrims are invited to cross the threshold of one or more of the 10 Holy Doors designated in the Diocese of Metuchen, including the Metuchen cathedral and the Blue Army Shrine in Washington.  A jubilee indulgence is attached to each of the Doors throughout the Jubilee Year.

The passage of each pilgrim through a Holy Door is a very important symbolic act. Christ identified Himself as “the door”…evoking the passage from sin to grace. Jesus said, ‘I am the door’ (John 10:7) in order to make it clear that no one can come to the Father except through Him.

The Diocese of Metuchen has established a section on its website dedicated to the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, which will highlight observances of the local church. The site will feature Holy Door locations in the diocese as well share resources for the faithful as they seek information on the Jubilee Year of Mercy, including a link to the official Vatican and USCCB websites commemorating the Year of Mercy. It may be accessed at: http://diometuchen.org/mercy.

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Year of Mercy Holy Door locations in Diocese of Metuchen
10 Doors of Mercy will be open to pilgrims throughout the year

Middlesex County

Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi
32 Elm Avenue, Metuchen
Door will be opened: Dec. 20, Noon Mass
Church hours:  6:30 am to 7 pm

Holy Family Church
Corner of Emerson & Romanowski Streets, Carteret
Door will be opened: Dec. 20, 10:45 am Mass
Church hours: Sun. 7 am to 1 pm; Mon., Tues., Thurs. & Sat. 7:30 am to 6 pm; Wed. & Fri. 7:30 am to 3 pm.

St. Bartholomew Church
470 Ryders Lane, East Brunswick
Door will be opened: Dec. 20, Noon Mass
Church hours:  Mon.-Fri. 7 am to 9 pm; Sat. 7 am to 7 pm; Sunday 6 am to 6 pm.

St. Stephen Church
490 State Street, Perth Amboy
Door will be opened:  Dec. 20 at Noon
Church hours:  7:30 am to 8:00 pm

St. Anthony of Padua Church
436 Port Reading Avenue, Port Reading
Door will be opened:  Dec. 20, 5 pm. Simbang Gabi Mass
Church hours: Mon.-Fri. 6:30 am to 6:30 pm; Sat.2:30 pm to 5:30 pm; Sun. 7 am to 1 pm.

Somerset County

St. Joseph Church
34 Yorktown Road, Millstone
Door will be opened: Sunday, January 3, Feast of the Epiphany, after the 9:30 a.m. Mass
Church hours: Mon. 7 am to 7 pm; Tues. 7 am to 4 pm; Wed. 7 am to 7 pm; Thurs. 7 am to 4 pm; Fri. 7 am to 9 pm; Sat. 7 am to 6 pm; Sun. 7am to 7 pm.

St. Charles Borromeo Church
47 Skillman Road, Skillman (Montgomery Township)
Door will be opened:  Dec. 20, 6:30 pm Vespers
Church hours:  Weekends 8 am to 6 pm; weekdays 7 am to 6 pm; Special Jubilee events: www.borromeo.org

Immaculate Conception Church
35 Mountain Avenue, Somerville
Door will be opened: December 31, 5 pm Mass
Church hours: Mon.-Fri. 5:30 am to 9 pm; Sat. 5:30 am to 8 pm; Sun. 7 am to 4 pm.

Hunterdon County

Immaculate Conception Church
16 Old Allerton Road, Annandale
Door will be opened:  December 20, Noon Mass
Church hours: 7 am to 7 pm

Warren County

National Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima
674 Mountain View Road, Asbury
Door will be opened:  December 27, Noon Mass
Church hours:  10 am to 4 pm (Nov.-Apr.); 9 am to 5 pm (May-Oct.)
Confessions:  11 to 11:50 am every day during the Jubilee

For more information about Year of Mercy observances in the Diocese of Metuchen visit, http://diometuchen.org/mercy

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