Catholic Church’s Jubilee of Mercy to end Sunday
— The congregation of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church will use its noon mass Sunday to close the door on the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Eileen Peacock, a member of the church at 455 Bow St. in Elkton said the congregation has grown since Pope Francis made the declaration in April 2015 for the Jubilee to begin in December of that year.
Pope Francis decreed the Year of Mercy to run Dec. 8 through Nov. 20 and to include a Jubilee Year.
Jubilee years have been called by the Catholic Church every 25 to 50 years since 1300, in order for worshippers to receive blessing and pardon from God and remission of sins. Special Jubilee years, known as extraordinary Jubilees, are called from from time to time to recognize events of note.
“It’s definitely been worthwhile,” Peacock said. “A lot more younger people came and joined the church.”
A similar celebration will also be held Sunday at 9 a.m. at St. Jude Mission Church in North East.
Using Luke 6:36 as a central theme for the Year of Mercy, Father Jim Yeakel, pastor of Immaculate Conception, called on the faithful to intentionally remind themselves “not only of God’s mercy toward us but also of our call to extend that mercy to others.”
Last December, Yeakel led the church in a kick-off of the year of mercy by symbolically opening the front doors of the sanctuary, referred to as the opening of the Holy Door.
The tradition of opening a Holy Door during a Jubilee to symbolically open the way to salvation and mercy dates back to the 15th century, when Pope Martin V opened the door at the papal basilica of St. John Lateran.
Peacock said the ritual would be observed at Catholic churches around the world this weekend. The public is invited to participate, she added.
Kathleen Obarski, right, and Father Jim Yeakel, priest at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Elkton, lead the congregation through a ceremony in December, which officially kicked off the Year of Mercy. This Sunday, the Jubilee comes to a close with a mass at noon at the church on Bow Street.