|St. Philip Church in Franklin has created a replica of the Jubilee Year of Mercy doors at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. The doors have been blessed by Bishop David Choby. As part of the parish’s First Friday devotion, dedicated to the Year of Mercy, the congregation will process through the Jubilee Year doors.|
St. Philip Church in Franklin is trying to make the Jubilee Year of Mercy a prominent part of parish life with a variety of activities, including dedicating its First Friday Eucharistic Adoration, procession, and Mass to mercy.
After Pope Francis launched the Year of Mercy on Dec. 8, 2015, St. Philip Pastor Father Marneni “Bala” Showraiah, O.F.M., created a committee of parishioners to plan activities that would allow parishioners to participate in the Year of Mercy, said Bob Vogt, a committee member.
“Father Bala is a huge believer in trying to get … people involved in different aspects of the Catholic faith,” Vogt said.
A parishioner was able to replicate the Jubilee Doors at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican for one of the doors at St. Philip, Vogt said. Bishop David Choby came to the parish to bless the doors and the parish processed through them, he added. As part of the Confirmation of parishioners this year, they and their godparents processed through the Jubilee doors.
At Sunday Masses through the year the parish recites a Year of Mercy prayer, Vogt said.
And in July, the parish began dedicating its monthly First Friday celebration to the Year of Mercy, with a different ministry of the parish hosting each month through November.
For July’s First Friday celebration, between 100 and 150 people participated, Vogt said. “Considering that was the Fourth of July weekend, we were very pleased.”
Each month the celebration begins at 9 a.m. with Mass in the parish’s original church, built in 1871. Eucharistic Adoration begins following the Mass. In the evening, the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.
At 6:45 p.m. there will be a Eucharistic procession from the 1871 church to St. Philip’s main church through the Jubilee Doors. The congregation will recite the Year of Mercy prayer and there will be a Mass at 7 p.m.
After the Mass, there will be a reception, and the Eucharistic Adoration will continue through the night in the 1871 church. The event ends at 8:45 a.m. Saturday with Benediction in the 1871 church.
The next First Friday celebration will be Friday, Aug. 5, and it will be hosted by the parish’s Hispanic ministry, Vogt said. The entire Catholic community is invited, he added.
St. Philip’s Year of Mercy committee is also trying to bring the Year of Mercy to the community. It is organizing an event involving other Christian churches in the community, Vogt said. The ecumenical outreach will be an evening of fellowship “to get to know each other,” Vogt said. The event will be held 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8.
Part of the message of the Year of Mercy, Vogt said, is to “open your doors, open your hearts.”