Sunday, January 10, 2016

Go on a Doors of Mercy Pilgrimage

As most Catholics know by now, we are in the midst of a Jubilee of Mercy.  As a part of that, Doors of Mercy have opened all around the world, including at many locations in the United States

training happy hearts in young children

In response to the blessing of so many Doors of Mercy being opened, a friend of mine created a Year of Mercy Pilgrimage Group through which she is inviting friends to join her family for a once-a-month pilgrimage to Doors of Mercy in our area. 

The group's kick-off pilgrimage was planned for an evening in the final week of December at LaSalette Shrine.  Unfortunately, icy road conditions prevented my children and I from joining in on the inaugural event.  However, luckily, another family that also could not make it out on the icy night, was able to join mine for our own pilgrimage to LaSalette last Sunday.

So What Are Doors of Mercy All About? 

training happy heart sin young children
I am still learning about Doors of Mercy alongside my children.  So, on the way to the shrine last Sunday, I read our family printouts about the Significance of the Holy Door and, then, chatted about how Pope Francis has declared a Jubilee of Mercy and local bishops have been given the opportunity to designate local Doors of Mercy. We then read about the True Meaning and Significance of the Jubilee of Mercy and discussed how we could receive graces by visiting the Door of Mercy at LaSalette Shrine.

How Do We Use the Doors or Mercy

According to the January Bulletin from the National Shrine of Our Lady of LaSalette, we:

  1. Make a pilgrimage to one of the Holy Doors of Mercy.
  2. Go to Confession to receive God's forgiveness.
  3. Recevie Holy Communion.
  4. Make a Profession of Faith.
  5. Pray for the Intentions of the Pope (one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be).
  6. Make a commitment to turn from sin.
  7. Complete one of the Works of Mercy

With this simple list as a guide, my children and I were blessed to partake in Reconciliation before waiting for the lights to come on for the last night of the Festival of Lights...

Then, meeting
our friends for Mass, prayer by the Door of Mercy, and a walk through the Door of Mercy, before viewing a huge collection of creches from all over the world...

After that, we enjoyed time together praying our way up some pilgrimage stairs...

Finding small snow piles to take play breaks on...

And enjoying the lights...

It was such a joy to celebrate faith and enjoy fun together with friends on our first Year of Mercy pilgrimage.  Even better was when, later that night, my oldest commented to me about how happy he was to be "totally clean" due to our experience. 

More to Come!

A friend has already picked locations for group pilgrimages later this month and next, so we are looking forward to more blessings. 

In the meantime, we continue to seek ways we can complete
Works of Mercy, and learn more about indulgences, Doors of Mercy, and the Jubilee of Mercy.  As a part of that learning, I watched Fr. Mike Schmitz' fabulous Ascension Presents video on indulgences and plan to view it once more with my children.

I pray our endeavors bring deeper understanding and grace into our lives.  I also pray that by sharing about them you, too, may be inspired to embrace this Jubilee year.

We'd LOVE to hear about YOUR favorite book titles, audio titles, printables, links, resources, and experiences related to the Jubilee of Mercy and Doors of Mercy, especially ones aimed at families and children.  Please share them in a comment here or on our Training Happy Hearts Facebook page.

1 comment:

asliceofsmithlife said...

Wow Martianne! This looks awesome and fun! I haven't heard of these pilgrimages before so it was great to learn about them! I'm not sure what we have in our area?


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