Year of Mercy - An Overview

Year of Mercy

A jubilee year is a special year called by the church to receive blessing and pardon from God and remission of sins.  The Catholic Church has called jubilee years every 25 to 50 years since the year 1300 and has also called special jubilee years from time to time, known as extraordinary jubilee years.  

· We will begin an extraordinary Jubilee Year, The Year of Mercy, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated December 8.

· The Year of Mercy will close on November 20, 2016 on the Feast of Christ the King.

· The jubilee year will formally begin with the opening of the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

· The other holy doors of basilicas around the world will then be opened as a sign of God’s opening a new pathway to salvation.

· We plan to have a special celebration in honor of this day as well

door or mercy


Click here to read more about the Year of Mercy on the Archdiocese of Louisville website.

Explanation of the Year of Mercy Logo

Year of MercyThe Vatican released an official logo for the Year of Mercy.  It is the work of Jesuit Father Marko I. Rupnik and portrays a small summary of the theology of mercy.  The logo represents Jesus, the Good Shepherd, taking upon his shoulders the lost soul of humankind.  In his great mercy, God takes on human flesh with a love that has the power to change human life.  Merging his own eyes with those of human beings (note the “shared” eye), Christ looks at us with eyes of love and forgiveness and teaches us to look at others with the same loving and forgiving eyes.  We are urged to be “MERCIFUL LIKE THE FATHER.”

Holy Door Pilgramage
Year of Mercy

In this Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has encouraged all people to make a pilgrimage of some sort.  When one goes on pilgrimage, they move out of their comfort zone and journey someplace previously unknown.  Openness is required.  In our Archdiocese, you can make a Year of Mercy pilgrimage to any of the more than 20 Churches that have a designated Holy Door.  Betsy Dunman of Holy Spirit Parish has created a Holy Door Passport, a guide with contact information for the parishes, Mass and times for Reconciliation, as well as the location of the Holy Doors and times they are accessible. Click here to see this helpful guide.  Holy journeying!

The Holy Doors of Mercy at Holy Trinity Parish
Year of Mercy

Below are pictures of the doors designated by this parish as holy doors in celebration of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Holy doors have been used in the Church since the 15th century as a symbol of conversion. The door is a threshold over which we cross in order to leave our sinful past behind and to enter into a life of grace.

Pope Francis inaugurated the Jubilee of Mercy by opening the Holy Door at St. Peter’s and has invited every Catholic diocese in the world to establish a similar Holy Door in its Cathedral and in other churches designated by the local bishop.  Holy Trinity is one of these designated churches for the Archdiocese of Louisville.  This door is a place where the faithful can encounter God’s mercy and be strengthened to be merciful like the Father to others.

The logo on the doors is the official logo for the Jubilee Year of Mercy.  On December 12 & 13 our Holy Doors were unveiled, blessed, and processed through by the congregation at each liturgy to formally begin our participation in the Year of Mercy.
Photos from our Year of Mercy Door Blessing: Photo Credit Daniel T. Jester, Parishioner
  door2   doorsdoor3  
The Divine Mercy

FaustinaThe Divine Mercy is a Christian devotion to the boundless merciful love of God for all people. This devotion grew from revelations by Jesus to Sr. Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun. In a vision, Sr. Faustina saw Jesus with two large rays of light streaming from his heart; one ray was red and the other was white. Jesus explained to her that the two rays represented the blood and water that flowed from his side which was pierced by the soldier’s lance as he hung on the cross. The white ray stands for the sacrament of Baptism by which sins are washed away. The red ray stands for Eucharist, in which Jesus gives us his very body and blood. Jesus asked Sr. Faustina to paint an image of what she saw and to write the words, “Jesus, I trust in you” at the bottom of the portrait. He asked Sr. Faustina to show the image to others and encourage them to entrust themselves to his mercy. Jesus asks us to receive his mercy, then share it with others through our words, actions, and our prayer for them.

Scouts, Youth Group, school, and GIFT classes plan to create a simple craft of the Divine Mercy and pass it along to those for whom they perform works of mercy.  If you’d like to join them in this endeavor, you can purchase the craft kit for $0.99 each from  The item number is VC137.

February Year of Mercy

Year of MercyMercy is an essential component of healthy relationships, and mercy and reconciliation are tools given to us to heal those relationships when we sin and when we are sinned against. Broken relationships within families are especially painful. In order to move forward, we seek not to forget the past, but to be reconciled to it and to one another and to bear wrongs patiently. During this Year of Mercy, let us seek to cultivate the habits and virtues of prayer, fruitful dialogue, gratitude, forgiveness, and serenity of heart so that we can begin to heal relationships in need of reconciliation. And remember, your parish is here to help. Pope Francis reminds us of the importance of mercy to a joyful life in the document introducing the Year of Mercy (Misericordiae Vultus): “To let go of anger, wrath, violence, and revenge is a necessary condition to joyful living….Above all let us listen to the words of Jesus who made mercy an ideal of life and a criterion for the credibility of our faith: ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy (9).’”

Lent Provides Opportunity to Experience the Sacrament of Reconciliation During Year of Mercy

Year of MercyIn announcing the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis said: “Let us place the sacrament of reconciliation at the center once more in such a way that it will enable people to touch the grandeur of God’s mercy with their own hands” (Misericordiae Vultus 17). The Sacrament of Reconciliation, one of the two sacraments of healing, is an opportunity to take stock, admit and confront failings and sin, and experience God’s love and mercy.  For those of us who have benefitted from this powerful sacrament, let’s take the opportunity to share its benefits with others.  For those of us who may not have participated in recent years, let’s take the opportunity during this Lenten season to experience Jesus’ mercy through this sacrament.  Most parishes have additional opportunities for the sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent.  Information can be found at .

Year of Mercy - The Spiritual Works of Mercy

Year of MercyDuring this Year of Mercy, the Pope has asked that we all focus on the works of mercy.  The Spiritual Works of Mercy are acts of love that help us care for the needs of people’s hearts, minds and souls.  Contemporary translations are listed first, followed by the traditional formulations for each spiritual work of mercy.

They include:
1. Teach the uneducated (Instruct the ignorant or teach the uninformed)
2. Comfort the suffering (Console the sorrowful)
3. Give advice to those who need it (Counsel the doubtful)
4. Be patient with others (Bear wrongs patiently)
5. Give correction to those who need it (Admonish the sinner)
6. Forgive those who hurt you (Forgive injuries)
7. Pray for the living and the dead
The Spiritual Works of Mercy transform us into instruments of love, peace and kindness in the world. Many opportunities to practice the Spiritual Works of Mercy exist at Holy Trinity. Please refer to  the Holy Trinity website or to your stewardship form.
Corporal Works of Mercy

Year of MercyDuring this Year of Mercy, the Pope has asked all of us to reflect on the works of mercy. The annual "Mayor's Give a Day Week" is April 16 through April 24 and a good time to reflect upon how our community service and ministries are connected to the Works of Mercy all year long. There are many opportunities within our community and beyond to assist those in need.

The Corporal Works of Mercy are acts of love that help us care for the physical and material needs of others. The seven works of mercy are drawn from the Scriptures and Jesus tells his disciples (that’s us) that they form the criterion by which we will be judged after death (see Matthew 25: 31-46). 

The Corporal Works of Mercy are:

o Feed the hungry 
o Give drink to the thirsty 
o Shelter the homeless
o Clothe the naked
o Comfort the sick
o Visit the imprisoned
o Bury the dead