Local Catholics celebrate opening of Door of Mercy at Our Mother of Mercy Church - December 14, 2015
Pope Francis proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy that began Dec. 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. “From the heart of the Trinity, from the depths of the mystery of God, the great river of mercy wells up and overflows unceasingly. It is a spring that will never run dry, no matter how many people draw from it. Every time someone is in need, he or she can approach it because the mercy of God never ends,” wrote Pope Francis in Misericordiae Vultus.
The pope opened the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and announced that each diocese would designate a church of special significance during the Year of Mercy, to be opened Dec. 13.
Bishop Olson selected Our Mother of Mercy, stating “Since its establishment in 1929, the parishioners, religious sisters, and priests of Our Mother of Mercy have faithfully serviced and witnessed to God’s abundant mercy most fully expressed through the gift of his Son, Jesus Christ. They have done this through service in education and outreach to the Catholic and broader African-American communities with a spirit of inclusion of all people.”
Floyd Ware, a parishioner and musician at Our Mother of Mercy, said, “The announcement that we were chosen as the principal church for the Year of Mercy was unexpected, but we are honored and we welcome visitors with open arms. Opening the Door of Mercy today was a good start, and we look forward to bigger things.”
Our Mother of Mercy parishioner Marie Guidry said, “Bishop Olson opening the Door of Mercy was a blessed experience. It was symbolic, but I hope we internalize it and turn it toward more goodness in the world. We need to understand that our own point of view is not the most important. We need to seek to understand those who are different from us. This can bring hope to the whole world.”