pope francis opens holy door 2015Irish dioceses prepare for conclusion of ‘Jubilee Year of Mercy’

Irish dioceses are set to mark the conclusion of Pope Francis’s ‘Jubilee Year of Mercy’ with Masses of Thanksgiving over the next two weekends. These Masses will be celebrated ahead of the formal conclusion of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which will be led by Pope Francis in the celebration a special Mass of Thanksgiving in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome on Sunday 20 November, the Feast of Christ the King. 

In the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, Masses will be celebrated in each of the four churches where a Holy Door was opened for the Year of Mercy. On Sunday 13 November. Bishop Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin will celebrate the 11.00am Mass in the Cathedral of Assumption in Carlow at which he will mark the conclusion of the Jubilee Year.

The Holy Doors in our diocese are located at:

  • The Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow
  • Church of St Brigid, Kildare Town
  • Church of St Fintan, Mountrath, beginning at St Fintan’s, Clonenagh,
  • Duiske Abbey, Graiguenamanagh.

To mark the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy on 20 November, Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh, has invited families to participate in a special Novena of Prayer by saying a prayer together for Mercy in the Family each evening for nine evenings.

In his message to the parishes of the Archdiocese of Armagh, Archbishop Eamon said, “As the Jubilee Year of Mercy draws to a close on 20 November, I invite you and your families to join me in a Novena for Mercy in the Family, beginning at 6.00pm on the evening of Friday 11 November and ending on Sunday 20 November, the Feast of Christ the King.”

Archbishop Eamon continued, “Please gather whoever is at home on each of the nine evenings shortly after six o’clock for just a few moments, and pray this short prayer together:

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Holy Family of Nazareth, bless our family.
Keep anger and violence far from our door.
May our home be a place of love, mercy and forgiveness.
Share our moments of happiness with us.
Whenever things are difficult, help us to overcome together the problems that come our way.
Be with families in Ireland and around the world who are homeless or suffering.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph come into our home and our hearts and stay with us always.


“If you have holy water at home, ask each person present to make a ‘Sign of the Cross’ on their forehead and pray for any special family intentions you might have. (You can get holy water at your local church).

“Finish by saying the ‘Our Father’ together.”

Archbishop Eamon concluded his message by welcoming parishioners to visit the Holy Door at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh, or at Saint Peter’s Church in Drogheda, before the end of the Jubilee Year and also to consider coming as a family to Confession some time before Christmas.

The Jubilee Year of Mercy began on 8 December 2015, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council. The aim of the Year of Mercy was to allow Catholics around the world to focus on mercy, compassion and forgiveness. 

Pope Francis marked the beginning of the Jubilee Year by opening the Door of Mercy in Saint Peter’s Basilica. He said: “How much I desire that the year to come will be steeped in mercy, so that we can go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God.  May the balm of mercy reach everyone, both believers and those far away, as a sign that the kingdom of God is already present in our midst.”

Archbishop Eamon Martin will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh at 5.30pm on Sunday 20 November to mark the end of the Year of Mercy. This Mass of Thanksgiving will also mark the end of Archbishop Eamon’s ‘Novena of Mercy in the Family’, which began on 11 November.

In Saint Peter’s in Drogheda, which was a Jubilee Church for the Year of Mercy, there will be a special Mass to mark the end of the Year of Mercy on Sunday 13 November at 11am. 

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will preside at a ceremony to mark the conclusion of the Jubilee Year in the Archdiocese of Dublin in Saint Mary’s Pro Cathedral on Sunday 13 November before the 11am Mass. There will also be ceremonies in Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Sean Mc Dermott Street, Dublin; the Church of Saint Francis Xavier in Gardiner Street; the Parish Church of Saints Peter and Mary in Arklow; and also at the House of Mercy in Baggot Street. 

In Knock, a Mass to mark the end of the Year of Mercy will take place on Sunday the 20 November at 12 Noon in the Basilica and this will also be the annual Mass for road traffic victims.