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Volume 26 @ Number 16 @ December 13, 2015 @ $15 per Year

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Culp: More than a feeling

Page 4 Page 7

God invites us to trust"

The Bi-Weekly Publication of The Catholic Diocese of Lexington

Turn to Jubilee, Page 8

Ann Schneible

VATICAN CITY (CNA/EWTN NEWS). Pope Francis has officially commenced the Jubilee of Mercy, calling those who pass through the newly-opened Holy Door to rediscover God's mercy and expe- rience the mystery of his love. This Extraordinary Holy Year is itself a gift of grace," Pope Fran- cis said in his homily for Mass, just before opening the Holy Door in St. Peter's Basilica. To pass through the Holy

It's time to rediscover God's mercy: Pope at Jubilee launch; Bishop Stowe to open the Holy Door at the Cathedral

Door means to rediscover the infinite mercy of the Father who welcomes everyone and goes out personally to encounter each of them. This will be a year in which we grow ever more convinced of God's mercy." Mercy, he said, must be placed before judgment, though "God's judgment will always be in the light of his mercy." In passing through the Holy Door, then, may we feel that we ourselves are part of this mystery of love," he said. Let us set aside all fear and dread, for these do not befit men and women who are loved. In- stead, let us experience the joy of encountering that grace which transforms all things." The Dec. 8 opening of the Ju- bilee of Mercy, an Extraordinary Holy Year, coincided with the So- lemnity of the Immaculate Con- ception. The Holy Year will close Nov. 20, 2016, with the Solem- nity of Christ the King. The Jubilee was officially inaugu- rated by the open- ing of the Holy Door in St. Peter's Basilica. Pilgrims who pass through the door-which is only opened during Jubilee years-can receive a plenary indul- gence under the usual conditions. Pope Francis presided over the rite of the Holy Door's opening before passing through himself. He was followed by retired pontiff Benedict XVI, who attended the rite in one of his rare public appearances. The opening of the door is meant to symbolically illustrate the idea that the church's faith- ful are offered an "extraordinary path" toward salvation during the time of jubilee. Bishop John Stowe, O.F.M., Conv., will open the Holy Door at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Lexington, Sunday, Dec. 13, at 7:30 a.m., to begin the local celebration of the jubilee. Holy doors-and, consequently, sites of pilgrimage-have been designated at St. Francis de Sales, White Sulphur, St. Francis of As- sisi, Pikeville, and Our Lady of the Mountains, Mount Vernon. Bishop Stowe will celebrate jubi- lee Masses at those locations on April, 2, 2016, July 9, and Octo- ber 8, respectively. Pope Francis in his homily spoke of the Holy Door in con- nection to the day's Gospel, which recounts the angel Gabriel an- nouncing to Mary she would be the mother of God. We carry out this act, so simple yet so highly symbolic, in the light of the word of God which we have just heard," Pope Francis said. That word highlights the pri- macy of grace...God's grace en- folded her and made her worthy of becoming the Mother of Christ." When Gabriel entered Mary's home, "even the most profound and impenetrable of mysteries became for her a cause for joy, faith and abandonment to the message re- vealed to her," the pope continued. Pope Francis' reflection in his homily centered on the Immacu- late Conception, celebrated Tues- day, and described the feast as an expression of "the grandeur of God's love." Not only does he forgive sin, but in Mary he even averts the original sin present in every man and wom- an who comes into this world." The fullness of grace can trans- form the human heart and enable it to do something so great as to change the course of human his- tory," he said. The pope made reference to the day's first Mass reading, the Gen- esis account of man's fall in the Garden of Eden. The words of Genesis reflect our own daily experience: we are constantly tempted to disobedi- ence, a disobedience expressed in wanting to go about our lives with- out regard for God's will," he said. Yet the history of sin can only be understood in the light of God's love and forgiveness. Were sin the only thing that mattered, we would be the most desperate of creatures." The promised triumph of Christ's love enfolds everything in the Father's mercy," the pope said. The Immaculate Virgin stands before us as a privileged witness of this promise and its fulfillment."

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