“Our Lenten theme Ignite Hope, is a call to be…
KOTA KINABALU – Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish here opened its “Door of Mercy” recently. Archbishop John Wong officiated the rites of the opening on 12 Dec 2015. It began at the Sacred Heart Parish Centre foyer. In his introduction the prelate said:
“During this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has called the entire Church to undertake a journey of spiritual conversion in order to rediscover the joy of having received mercy from God our Father and to recommit ourselves to be witnesses to that mercy by giving comfort to every man and woman of our time. In short, we must be merciful to others, just as our heavenly Father is merciful to us (Lk 6:36). As we pass through the Holy Door, as a sign of our penitential journey, let us do so with an open heart, to receive the patience and indulgence of God, to receive the mercy of God, and let us do so in company with the Saints asking them to assist us on this journey of conversion.”
Then Deacon Joshua Liew proclaimed the gospel passage on the Lost Sheep and Lost Coin (cf Lk 15), followed by a reading of the Bull of Indiction by Fr Rhobby Mojolou. Then the faithful led by the archbishop processed to the church entrance where the Holy Door is located. He blessed it, opened it and invited all to pass through the Holy Door with these words:
“God never tires of casting open the door of his heart and of repeating that he loves us and wants to share his love with us (MV 15). Now with hearts full of joy and gratitude, let us pass through this Jubilee Door renewed in spirit, confident in God’s mercy towards us and steadfast in our duty to be credible witnesses of mercy poured out upon us.”
The presider passed through the Holy Door followed by the concelebrants, ministers, lectors, choir and the rest of the faithful. When all had entered, the presider blessed the water in the bucket and sprinkled all present with it during the penitential rite.
In his homily, the prelate touched on the theme of rejoicing – being Gaudete or Rejoicing Sunday – and invited all present to “rejoice always in the Lord” (cf Phil 4:4) as it is particularly pertinent to the Year of Mercy. The Holy Year Prayer was prayed by all to conclude the bidding prayers.
Before the dismissal, the prelate informed the congregation that various activities particularly pilgrimages to the designated “Holy Doors” (SHC, Holy Rosary Limbahau, St Peter Kudat, St Peter Claver Ranau) will be organised at parish level throughout the year. He encouraged all to participate in these activities. Leaflets for reflection and prayer on the icons on the Holy Door will be provided. He also told them that a special notice board at the church entrance has been set up for the announcements of these activities.