Closing of the Holy Door| Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Bishop of Steubenville Closes Holy Door at Christ the King Chapel

    November 28, 2016

    STEUBENVILLE, OHIO—“The closing of the Holy Door does not mean the closing of our hearts.”

    With these words and prayers, Bishop Jeffrey Monforton of Steubenville closed the Holy Door in Christ the King Chapel at Franciscan University of Steubenville at a special Mass of Thanksgiving on November 19 to mark the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

    The readings of the Mass focused on forgiveness, mercy, and love—the same themes Bishop Monforton focused on in his homily. He said that ending the Jubilee Year of Mercy does not mean Catholics should stop being merciful. To be disciples of Christ, Bishop Monforton said, one must not simply call oneself Catholic, “but do,” and act with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

    “As we leave this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are not really leaving but embarking,” said Bishop Monforton. “Pope Francis this weekend is not going to say the closure of the Jubilee Year of Mercy means we can go back to our selfish ways. We must knock off those training wheels. For you know what you and I have to do. Mercy is in the Christians DNA. It is a virtue of the sacrament of baptism. By doing, we share our standard of living in the abiding love of God the Father and God the Son. Jesus shows us that to be Christian is to be merciful as the Father is merciful.”

    Closing the Mass, Bishop Monforton encouraged everyone to be merciful to others, especially their family members during the Thanksgiving season and to thank God, and “ask him to pour out like the morning dewfall that same mercy unceasingly on the entire world.”

    To formally conclude the Year of Mercy, at the end of Mass Bishop Monforton processed down the center aisle and closed the Holy Door as he left the chapel.

    Bishop Monforton closed the diocese’s second Holy Door at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption in Marietta, Ohio, at the noon Mass on Sunday, November 20.

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