Udupi: Dr Gerald Isaac Lobo, Bishop of Udupi Diocese, solemnly inaugurated the Jubilee Year of Mercy with the celebration Eucharistic Mass here on Sunday, December 13 after opening the Holy Door of Milagres Cathedral, Kallainpur.
Prior to the opening of the door, prayer services were held at the portico of the cathedral. The bishop read out the message of Pope Francis to the faithful who had gathered at the portico of the cathedral.
Deacon Lobo read the word of God from the Bible. Fr Rolwin Aranha compered the brief programme before opening of the Holy Door of the Cathedral.
The faithful entered through the Holy Door to the Eucharistic celebrations. Prior to the Eucharistic mass, the bishop blessed the Holy Water and sprinkled it on the faithful gathered in the cathedral. Then, the Eucharistic mass was concelebrated by Bishop Gerald Isaac Lobo along with Rector of the Cathedral Fr Stany B Lobo, Vicar General Mnsgr. Dr Baptist Menezes, Fr J B Sequeira – OFM Capuchin Episcopal Vicar for Religious, Dr John Mendonca – Judicial Vicar of Diocese of Udupi, Fr Hilary Fernandes – Episcopal Vicar for Pilar Fathers, Fr William Martis – Director of Inter Religious-Diocese of Udupi, Fr Stephen D’Souza – Diocesan Head for Catechetic commission and other priests.
In his homily, the bishop said that in today’s world, there is no respect for human beings. “Sadly more often than not, we hit rock bottom before we look up to Christ. Christians have begun to forget Jesus and the love of God. So, Pope Francis has given us a wake-up call, to be ever more sincere in turning away from sin and to grow in the faith and love of Jesus. The Pope has hence declared the Divine Mercy year, from 8th December 2015 to 16th December 2016.”
Furthermore, the bishop said that God is Divine Mercy. “God is our sole model and Jesus mercy is the face of God. God loves those who have lost everything. Jesus emphasizes God’s mercy. Divine Mercy is not the pardon of a judge, but the embrace of a lover. God is love. The unconditional love of God is the Divine Mercy which is always available to us. Our sin is not too great for the mercy of God. We must be compassionate towards others.”
The bishop also said that a lot of programmes have been planned in the diocese on the occasion of the Divine Mercy Year. He conducted the prayer on Divine Mercy with the faithful at the end of mass.
Fr Stany B Lobo, Rector of the Cathedral, read the weekly announcements and expressed his gratitude to the bishop and all gathered on the occasion of opening the Holy Door of the Cathedral. The representatives of the deanery’s parishes and a large number of parishioners of the cathedral participated in the Eucharistic celebrations.
Meanwhile, the ceremony of the Holy Door opening was held at St Lawrence Shrine, Attur, Karkala in the evening, prior to Eucharistic mass which was concelebrated by the Bishop of Udupi.