“The closing of the Holy Door does not mean the closing of our hearts,” said Bishop Jeffrey Monforton. “As we leave this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are not really leaving but embarking.”
Bishop Monforton of the Diocese of Steubenville closed the Holy Door at Christ the King Chapel following a special Mass of Thanksgiving on Nov. 19, marking the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
During his homily at the Mass, the bishop focused on the theme of love and mercy, urging attendees not to lose the spirit of mercy, especially towards their other brothers and sisters in Christ. The end of the Year of Mercy does not mean an end to mercy, he said.
“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,” Monforton said. “We must knock off those training wheels. For you know what you and I have to do. Mercy is in the Christian’s 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.”
Before he gave the final blessing at the end of Mass, the music ministry led attendees in an acoustic rendition of the song “Holy is His Name.”
The bishop then gave the final blessing, processed down the center aisle of the chapel and closed the doors before leaving.
The doors were opened on Dec. 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Pilgrims who passed through the door had the opportunity to receive a plenary indulgence during the Year of Mercy.
Bishop Monforton closed the Diocese’s other Holy Door at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption in Marietta, Ohio on Sunday, Nov. 20.