Official closing of the Extraordinary Jubilee of MercyFriday, November 18 2016
Pope Francis will preside at the closing celebration of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy in Saint Peter’s Basilica on November 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Christ the King, with the Holy Father officially closing the Holy Door of the Basilica. The Jubilee Year began on December 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. During one of the last events of the Jubilee Year, on November 13 in Rome, the Jubilee for Socially Excluded People, the Holy Father recalled in his homily that “The human person, set by God at the pinnacle of creation, is often discarded, set aside in favour of ephemeral things. This is unacceptable, because in God’s eyes man is the most precious good.” This celebration was part of the major Jubilee events over the past year and had been preceded by several others since the opening of the Extraordinary Jubilee, including those for children, youth, those in mourning, deacons, priests, the sick, prisoners, catechists, and the papal nuncios.
In Canada, dioceses and eparchies also marked the Jubilee Year by various celebrations, including with Doors of Mercy in their Cathedrals or principal parish churches and through which numerous pilgrims have passed during the year. The Doors of Mercy were closed on November 13. Several Canadian Bishops also issued Pastoral Letters to mark the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy and provided special resources on their diocesan websites. Some of the diocesan closing celebrations of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy were filmed. These included the closing celebration of the Holy Door at the Cathedral Basilica Notre-Dame de Québec with His Eminence Gérald Cyprien Cardinal Lacroix, Archbishop of Québec and Primate of Canada, as well as the celebration at the Cathedral Mary Queen of the World in Montreal with the Most Reverend Christian Lépine, Archbishop of Montreal.
For its part, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) undertook a number of special initiatives which included posting a new webpage and publishing a special pocket-book edition in French of the Gospel of Luke. A number of dioceses in the English Sector made available a popular English-language version of this Gospel. The CCCB Episcopal Commission for Doctrine published a pamphlet, The Beauty of Mercy: Pope Francis and Confession, providing a series of quotations from the Holy Father on the importance and beauty of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The CCCB President’s messages for Christmas 2015 and Easter 2016 focused on mercy.
The English Sector Commission for Evangelization and Catechesis well as the Office de catéchèse du Québec released materials to mark the Jubilee of Mercy for catechists. The CCCB Office for Evangelization and Catechesis reflected on mercy in its Winter 2016 edition of the newsletter On Good Soil and its fall 2016 edition of Encounter. These two issues focused on the Jubilee for Catechists as part of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy and highlighted various celebrations in dioceses across the country. The CCCB Standing Committee for Movements and Associations centred its annual Pentecost message on mercy. The theme for the CCCB National Week for Life and the Family in 2016 was “My Family: A School of Mercy”.
At their annual Plenary Assembly in Cornwall, 26 to 30 September 2016, the Bishops gathered at Sainte-Croix Church in that city for a pilgrimage to the Holy Door of Mercy. This celebration included Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament as part of Vespers, presided by the Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, S.J., Archbishop of Ottawa and Apostolic Administrator of Alexandria-Cornwall.
Special schedule of Salt + Light TV for the closing of the Jubilee: on Sunday November 20 at 12:00 p.m.