A unique walk took place on Sunday 11 September along the Barrow Way walking route. The walk was part of events marking the opening of a Holy Door in Duiske Abbey, Graiguenamanagh by Bishop Denis Nulty. This is the fourth and final door the bishop has opened during the course of the diocese’s celebration of the Jubilee of Mercy, a Holy Year called by Pope Francis.
Sundays events began in Saint Mullins at 1:30pm with people from the parish, as well as from Graiguenamanagh and other parishes across the diocese, assembling at Saint Moling’s Well to set off on the pilgrim walk. The pilgrimage was led by Bishop Denis and included many young people who had travelled to Krakow with the Bishop in July for World Youth Day.
With stops along the way, the numbers on the walk grew as the pilgrimage got closer to the Abbey where at 4:00pm Bishop Denis formally opened the Holy Door at the start of a Mass of Thanksgiving. Bishop Denis was joined by Father Gerry Byrne, PP Graiguenamanagh, and Fr Eddie Aughney, PP St Mullins, as well as other priests from across the diocese.
Speaking after the Mass, Bishop Denis expressed his hope that more and more people will hear the message in this Holy Year that ‘God’s mercy reaches out to everyone, wherever and however we are in need of mercy and healing.’
The extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy was called by Pope Francis. It began on 8 December, 2015 (the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the 50th anniversary of the close of the Second Vatican Council) and will conclude on 20 November, 2016 (the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe)
The Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin is marking the Jubilee Year of Mercy in a number of ways including the opening of four Holy Doors across the diocese in the course of the year:
13 December 2015: Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow
31 January 2016: Saint Brigid’s Church, Kildare
3 April 32016: Saint Fintan’s Church, Mountrath
11 September: Duiske Abbey, Graiguenamanagh
The theme for the Jubilee of Mercy across the world is Merciful like the Father, taken from the Gospel of Saint Luke. It serves as an invitation to each of us to follow the merciful example of the Father who asks us not to judge or condemn but to forgive and to give love and forgiveness without measure.