Start of the Year of Mercy

Approximately 500 of the faithful gathered outside the cathedral to witness the opening of the Holy Year Door by the Most Reverend Gerard Bergie, bishop of the Diocese of St. Catharines.

We had a wonderful start to the Year of Mercy on Tuesday evening on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The Cathedral was full with over 500 people attending from across the diocese. Bishop O’Mara and 17 priests were concelebrating, with deacons and religious in attendance. I sincerely thank you for promoting this event in your parishes because many people responded. It was very moving for me to see the entire congregation process through the Holy Door of Mercy. Father Don Lizzotti and the Cathedral staff worked very hard to prepare the door and liturgy for the opening of the Holy Year. The beautiful linoleum floor and baptistery have been restored next to the Holy Door. This makes a strong connection between God’s love and mercy and the Sacrament of Baptism. We come to Christ and his church through baptism. In the Gospel of the Mass on Tuesday evening (St. Luke), the angel Gabriel tells Mary, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” I believe that incredible things will be happening in the diocese during this Holy Year of Mercy and our celebration on Tuesday evening is a testament to that fact.