(Vatican Radio) The Jubilee of Mercy is well underway with events continuing here in the Vatican and around Rome. But how is the local Church celebrating this Extraordinary Year?
Since his announcement of the year, Pope Francis has wanted dioceses around the world to open their own Holy Doors and promote initiatives focusing on Mercy and especially it’s spiritual and corporal works.
While many dioceses have decided to have a number of Holy Doors, the diocese of Plymouth in the UK has decided to open just one at the main cathedral, so that it can be a main focal point of pilgrimage. The Bishop of Plymouth, Mark O’Toole explains, “I wanted to stress the sense of the unity of the diocese, we’re quite a widespread diocese, and also the sense of pilgrimage which is also an important part of the Year of Mercy.
Listen to Lydia O'Kane's interview with the Bishop of Plymouth, Mark O'Toole
Another aspect of the Jubilee that the Bishop wants to put emphasis on is the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He says, “I think it’s vital to provide opportunities for people to be able to go to confession to rediscover, for many Catholics, the beauty of this sacrament.”
A third key element of this Holy Year that Bishop O’Toole is keen to highlight are the corporal and spiritual works of Mercy. One initiative that is being encouraged in parishes around the diocese are bereavement groups.
Having worked as a priest for the past 25 years, the Bishop, underlining the significance of this Holy Year, says that he has seen at first hand the “experience of mercy in people’s individual lives and how transforming that really can be.”