Diocese of Madison to observe Year of Mercy Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Dec. 03, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

Pope Francis has declared a Year of Mercy -- December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016 -- throughout the worldwide Church.

There will be many opportunities in the Diocese of Madison to reflect both on God’s mercy and how we are “merciful like the Father” (see Luke 6:36).

Opening Mass

Bishop Robert C. Morlino will celebrate a Mass to open the holy year on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 4 p.m. at St. Maria Goretti Church in Madison.

All people in the diocese are invited to participate in this Mass.

St. Maria Goretti Church is wheelchair accessible. There are assisted listening devices and large print worship aids. An American Sign Language interpreter will be present.

Holy Doors

Each diocese has been asked by Pope Francis to dedicate Holy Doors at the local cathedral and major shrines.

Bishop Morlino has instructed this to be done at St. Patrick Church and Holy Redeemer Church (both part of Cathedral Parish in Madison) and the Schoenstatt Shrine in Madison.

Those who make a pilgrimage to a Holy Door during the Year of Mercy, along with the usual conditions, can receive an indulgence.

The usual conditions are: a person must be in the state of grace, make a sacramental Confession, receive the Holy Eucharist, pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, and have the interior disposition of being detached from sin, including venial sin.

Through an indulgence, God grants the prayer of the Church that the temporal penalty for sin due to someone be reduced (or possibly eliminated).

Indulgences can also be gained for souls in Purgatory.

Sacrament of Reconciliation

Bishop Morlino has asked each parish with a resident pastor to offer Confessions on most of the Tuesdays of Advent and Lent, along with an additional two hours throughout the week during the rest of the year.

Pope Francis has called the confessional door a “Door of Mercy,” so the diocese will be sending each parish a wooden cross to indicate this on the confessional door.

Bishop Morlino also is offering a plenary indulgence to all people who pass through that door having completed Confession and absolution and the usual indulgence conditions.

For more information on Diocese of Madison plans for the Year of Mercy, visit

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