Year of Mercy Pilgrimage at St Stephen’s
Archbishop Mark opened the Door of Mercy at St Stephen’s Cathedral on 13th December, the 3rd Sunday of Advent, following the beginning of the Year of Mercy on 8th December. However, as the Archbishop writes in his Lenten Pastoral Letter: “the Year of Mercy really beings now (First Sunday in Lent) as we start the journey through Lent to Easter.” He continues: “Around the Archdiocese, I’ve chosen six pilgrimage churches of mercy: the Cathedral, Red Hill, Clear Island Waters, Nambour, Annerley and Ipswich. … Each parish is invited to organise a pilgrimage of mercy to one of these churches, perhaps during Lent. The pilgrimage could include a ritual entry through the Door of Mercy into the church, a celebration of the Sacrament of Mercy, … followed by communal praise and thanksgiving and perhaps even a picnic lunch before returning home.”
At St Stephen’s we are setting aside the specific time of 10.30am – 12.30pm on each Saturday as pilgrim time throughout the Year of Mercy. The Sacrament of Mercy (Reconciliation) will be offered from 10-11am and then mass at 11.30am. Pope Francis has declared a Plenary Indulgence for those who make a pilgrimage to the Door of Mercy, attend the Sacrament of Mercy, and Mass, and pray the creed and pray for the Pope and for his intentions. At St Stephen’s we will also have a pilgrimage booklet, which will provide pilgrims with a format of pilgrim prayer at various stations around the Cathedral.