By NICHOLE GOLDEN, Staff Writer | Published April 28, 2016
ATLANTA—The seven Holy Doors of the Archdiocese of Atlanta offer local places where the faithful can make a pilgrimage during this Holy Year of Mercy and receive extraordinary graces.
The Holy Year of Mercy began Dec. 8, 2015, and extends until Nov. 20, 2016, which is the solemnity of Christ the King and the end of the church year.
Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory has designated seven church buildings as locations for the Holy Doors of Mercy, in response to the pope’s request to make the graces of the Holy Year widely available.
Pope Francis has granted the possibility of a plenary indulgence, or the full remission of temporal punishment for sins committed, if certain steps are fulfilled in the spirit of conversion. The indulgence can be applied to one’s self or to the souls of the deceased.
To experience and obtain the indulgence, the faithful are called to:
- Make a pilgrimage to a designated Holy Door and pass through the door
- Make a sacramental confession
- Receive the holy Eucharist with a reflection on mercy
- Pray for the Holy Father and his intentions
- Make a profession of faith
- Reject desire or temptation to commit sin
In addition, it is possible to receive the indulgence by performing one of the spiritual or corporal works of mercy.
In a letter regarding the jubilee indulgence on Sept. 1, Pope Francis focused on his request that the Church rediscover the richness encompassed by the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.
“The experience of mercy, indeed, becomes visible in the witness of concrete signs as Jesus himself taught us. Each time that one of the faithful personally performs one or more of these actions, he or she shall surely obtain the Jubilee Indulgence,” wrote the pope.
Here are the seven locations of the Holy Doors and information about Mass, confession and other special events for pilgrims at each church.
The Cathedral of Christ the King
2699 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta
The Cathedral’s Holy Door is located on the side facing Peachtree Road, near the front of the building. The door is marked by the Year of Mercy logo and is open from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
The Cathedral Mass times are: Sundays at 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m. in Spanish, 4 p.m. Teen Mass, 5:45 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.
Monday through Friday, Mass is celebrated at 6:45 a.m., 8:10 a.m., 12:10 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. (in the d’Youville Chapel). On Tuesday Mass is also celebrated in Spanish at 7 p.m.
Saturday Mass times are 8:10 a.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m. in the church and 5 p.m. in Spanish in Kenny Hall.
The sacrament of reconciliation is offered Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:15-7:45 a.m. and 6-6:30 p.m., Saturdays from 8:45-9:15 a.m. and 3-3:45 p.m. or by appointment by calling 404-233-2145.
Just within the Cathedral Holy Doors, there is an explanatory brochure on the Holy Year, including the profession of faith and the prayer of Pope Francis for this Year of Mercy. Downloadable information on the Holy Year indulgence may also be found online at www.cathedralofchristtheking.org. For more information, contact Kevin Culver at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Monastery of the Holy Spirit
2625 Highway 212, SW, Conyers
The monastery has been welcoming small and large parish groups for “A Day of Pilgrimage” since the opening of its Holy Door. Parish priests are encouraged to join their groups for the visits, offered weekdays.
The pilgrimages include Mass in the abbey church or crypt chapel, depending on group size, a tour, catered lunch, and midday prayer followed by confessions. Some groups choose to conclude the day with recitation of the Divine Mercy chaplet, and others by participating in outdoor Stations of the Cross around the lake.
Parishes or organizations interested in scheduling a day of pilgrimage should contact Brother Callistus by email at: email@example.com.
Individuals who would like to visit the monastery are welcome to attend the monks’ daily prayer of the Divine Office and Mass at these times: 4 a.m. vigils; 7 a.m. morning prayer and community Mass; 12:15 p.m. midday prayer; 5:20 p.m. vespers (evening prayer); and 7:30 p.m. compline (night prayer).
The monastery’s beautiful grounds are open to the public every day. Gates open at 4 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. after night prayer. The Monastery Heritage Center is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Information on the Holy Year of Mercy can be found online at www.trappist.net as well as events in which to take part.
The joyful sacrament of reconciliation will be offered on Saturdays from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in both English and Spanish.
Retreats are offered on weekends and midweek throughout the year. For a schedule of retreats visit www.trappist.net/retreat-schedule-2016.
Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
48 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, SW, Atlanta
The Shrine’s Holy Door is decorated. Mass times are Sundays at 8:30 and 11 a.m. Weekday Masses are at 12:10 p.m. and Saturday Mass is at 9 a.m. Confession is offered by appointment. To make an appointment, call 404-521-1866.
One of the corporal works of mercy is to feed the hungry, and the Shrine’s St. Francis Table program uses volunteers to feed those in need.
St. Francis Table begins operation at 7 a.m. each Saturday morning. At this time volunteers prepare sandwiches, if they have not been donated. Soup is also prepared. The guests are invited in at 10 a.m. The kitchen stays open and serves soup and sandwiches until noon when cleanup begins.
St. Francis Table also runs both a food pantry and a Morning Sandwich Ministry.
The food pantry is scheduled from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The Morning Sandwich Ministry is scheduled from 8:45 to 9:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Sign up to serve at St. Francis Table by calling the Shrine office at 404-521-1866 and making a reservation. Many Saturdays are booked in advance, so call to check availability. Volunteers may also make meat and cheese sandwiches and deliver them to the Shrine. Call the Shrine office ahead of time to arrange for a delivery time.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
353 Peachtree St., NE, Atlanta
The Basilica’s Holy Door is at the front of the church.
Mass times on Sunday are 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m. in Spanish, and 6 p.m. (Hearts on Fire Contemporary Music Ensemble). Saturday Mass times are 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. (vigil Mass for Sunday). Weekday Masses are celebrated at 7 a.m. and 12:10 p.m. Confessions are Monday and Friday at 11:30 a.m., Saturday from 4:30-5 p.m., and Sunday in Spanish from 1-1:30 p.m.
The Basilica also offers the opportunity to participate in a corporal work of mercy through its Thursday food distribution ministry. Sacred Heart offers outreach to the homeless on Thursdays, beginning at 9 a.m. Volunteers are needed to prepare sandwiches and lunch bags on Wednesdays and to distribute coffee and lunch bags on Thursdays. Donations of bread, chips, coffee, dry creamer, sugar and bottled water are welcome. For more information on volunteering or making a donation, contact Deacon Marino Gonzalez at 404-974-2235 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Philip Benizi Church
591 Flint River Road, Jonesboro
St. Philip Benizi’s Holy Door is an interior door. It is the set of doors leading from the narthex into the sanctuary.
Mass times are Monday through Saturday at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday at 7 p.m., and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Spanish. Saturday’s vigil Mass is at 5 p.m. Sunday Mass times are 7:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. in Spanish. A Youth Mass is offered at 5 p.m. on Sunday.
The sacrament of reconciliation is offered on Saturdays from 3-4 p.m. in the chapel. To receive the sacrament at other times, please call the parish office at 770-478-0178 to make an appointment with a priest.
To read a daily Pope Francis reflection, visit the parish website at www.stphilipbenizi.org.
Holy Vietnamese Martyrs Church
4545 Timmers Way, Norcross
Holy Vietnamese Martyrs Church is a congregation celebrating the sacraments in the Vietnamese language. Led by Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, the church celebrated the opening of its Holy Door on Feb. 22, the feast of the Chair of St. Peter.
Visit the parish online at http://www.cttdvnatl.org or call 770-921-0077 for information on parish events in the Year of Mercy.
Mass times are Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m.; Thursday and Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 5:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Confession is offered on Saturdays from 4:30–5:15 p.m., on weekdays after the 8 a.m. Mass and on Thursday and Friday after the 7 p.m. Mass.
Our Lady of the Americas Mission
4603 Lawrenceville Highway, Lilburn
Our Lady of the Americas Catholic Mission is a Spanish-speaking mission serving all, but particularly the Latino community. Bishop Luis R. Zarama opened the mission’s Holy Door on Dec. 12, 2015, the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The mission’s
Mass times are Tuesday through Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. On the first Friday of each month, Mass is offered at 12:15 a.m. The mission is closed Mondays.
Confessions are offered Tuesday through Friday from 6-6:45 p.m., Saturday from 4-4:45 p.m. and Sunday from 9-9:45 a.m. and 11-11:45 a.m.
The mission’s bulletin has a column dedicated to the invitation, promotion and education on the Year of Mercy, instructions on how to obtain an indulgence, and, above all, how to make a visit to Our Lady of the Americas an experience of faith and an encounter with Jesus Christ as one goes through the Holy Door, confesses sins, receives holy Communion, and prays for the intentions of Pope Francis.
Our Lady of the Americas will send a written invitation to all parishes of the archdiocese that wish to come and cross the Holy Door and celebrate Mass with their parishioners. The mission is willing to share facilities, confessionals, meeting rooms and the kitchen with all groups that come for pilgrimage during this Year of Mercy.
The mission has already offered several retreats since opening of the door.
A Couples Encounter on June 17-19, called “To Love We Need to be Merciful,” will be led by Dr. Oscar Henao Quintero and his wife, Luz Maria Cuartas.
In partnership with the brotherhood of the Lord of the Miracles, the mission is offering a special catechetical preparation for couples who wish to receive the sacrament of marriage but are unable. The goal is to help these couples solve impediments and pave the way for them to receive the sacrament.
For information on events during the Holy Year of Mercy, visit online at www.ourladymission.org.