Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde will open the Holy Door for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy at Saint Thomas More Cathedral on December 13, 2015, at the 11:00 a.m. Mass. The cathedral will remain a place of pilgrimage until the closing of the Jubilee Year onNovember 20, 2016, the Feast of Christ the King. Bishop Loverde will also bless the newly renovated cathedral at the event.
“The opening of the Holy Door, something most of us see only a few times in our lives, is meant to be a great symbol of Christ,” wrote Bishop Loverde in a letter to Catholics of the Diocese on December 1. “When a pilgrim walks through that door, he or she should be reminded of how the Lord Jesus is the gate through which we pass from sin to grace.”
To mark the Jubilee, Pope Francis asked every diocese to designate and open a Holy Door at the diocesan cathedral or at a church of special significance through which pilgrims can pass. Saint Thomas More Cathedral has been the principal church of the Diocese of Arlington since its founding in 1974. In addition to serving as the church for Saint Thomas More parish, the cathedral is the site of many diocesan-wide celebrations, including ordinations to the priesthood and diaconate, the Holy Thursday Chrism Mass, the Marriage Jubilee Mass and the Rite of Election. The HolyDoor will be marked with a sign inviting pilgrims to an experience of God’s mercy.
The recent interior renovations to the cathedral were begun on June 15, and include the restoration of pews, installation of new confessionals and Stations of the Cross, and replacement of wood paneling with granite. These updates were financed by a parish capital campaign and a three-year contribution from the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal.
“I invite each of you during this Jubilee to make a pilgrimage to Saint Thomas More Cathedral, to pass through the Holy Door, and in doing so, to reflect on the many ways and times you have, through Christ, encountered God’s merciful love,” wrote Bishop Loverde. “When you know God’s mercy, you will experience Gospel joy.”
For resources and information about diocesan events related to the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, visit www.arlingtondiocese.org/ jubilee. Saint Thomas More Cathedral is located at 3901 Cathedral Lane, Arlington, VA 22201.