Bishop opens the door on a Year of Mercy

Bishop of Motherwell Jospeh Toal at the opening of the Holy Door of Mercy at Carfin Grotto.
Bishop of Motherwell Jospeh Toal at the opening of the Holy Door of Mercy at Carfin Grotto.

Bishop of Motherwell Joseph Toal celebrated the New Year by opening the Holy Door of Mercy at Carfin Grotto on Friday.

The Holy Door is one of two in Motherwell Diocese, with the other at Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral opened last month.

Parish priest Father Francis McGachey and Deacon James Aitken welcomed Bishop Toal to the grotto for the celebration.

The bishop also celebrated mass in St Francis Xavier Church for parishioners.

He said: “In proclaiming the Jubilee Year of Mercy Pope Francis encourages us “to contemplate the mystery of mercy, the wellspring of joy, serenity and peace”.

“The mercy of the Father is revealed to us in a definitive way when, in the fullness of time God sent his Son into the world, born of the Virgin Mary.

“Our contemplation of mercy then begins as we look upon and cherish the gift of the Christ Child in the manger each Christmas.

“The Child Jesus is indeed the rising Sun coming to visit us and save us from our sins, and we rejoice in the tender mercy of our God.

“May the Year of Mercy be a fruitful time for the whole Church, and inspire us to be tender and truly merciful like Our Father.

“I pray for the Lord’s blessing upon your families, parishes and communities, and pray that all who are troubled or live in trying circumstances or places may know his peace.”

The Holy Year of Mercy was opened by Pope Francis on December 8 and will last until November 20, the Solemnity of Christ the King.

As part of the first jubilee year since 2000 and first extraordinary year since 1983, Holy Doors have been opened at churches across the world, including at every cathedral in Scotland, in an historical first.

A Plenary Indulgence can be obtained for all who enter through the Holy Doors, or applied to the souls of the deceased, as long as the recipient is in a state of grace and has received communion and confession and prayed for the intentions of the Pope.