Bishop Richard Moth Issues Pastoral Letter for Year of Mercy
Bishop Richard Moth has issued a Pastoral to be read in all churches in the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton this weekend, 5th and 6th December 2015. The focus of the letter is a response to Pope Francis declaring the coming year as a Holy Year, an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. This is following up a commitment the Bishop made in his first Pastoral Letter to the Diocese at the beginning of September this year.
In the Pastoral Letter Bishop Richard not only calls for a renewal of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession), but also for the need for the Diocese “to reach out to those who are estranged from the Church or who, for whatever reason, have not heard the message of the Gospel.”
He will inaugurate the Year of Mercy by opening a Holy Door at Arundel Cathedral on Sunday 13th December at 5pm. Doors are a symbol of openness to God’s mercy. He said “The Holy Door of Cathedral or Church must be a reminder to us of the door of the heart and the Gospel calls us to open the doors of our hearts and minds to the gift of mercy. We must be bearers of that mercy to the refugee, to the asylum seeker, to the prisoner and the victim of crime, to the one who is homeless, to the one who may have a roof over their head but seeks the peace and mercy that comes in knowing Christ.”
Three other Holy Doors will be opened across the Diocese, at The Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation, West Grinstead, West Sussex, at Mayfield School, East Sussex and at the Parish of Christ the King, Weybridge in Surrey.
During the year he wishes the people in the Diocese not only to carry out acts of mercy for our neighbours, to reach out to all distanced from the Church, but also to deepen their life of prayer and their relationship with God, and finally to go in pilgrimage to one of the designated Holy Doors.
There is a full programme of events now in place to support all these aims, details of which are on the Diocesan website – www.abdiocese.org.uk.
He concludes his letter “May this Jubilee Year of Mercy be a time when each of us opens the door of our heart to the outpouring of Mercy that we receive through Jesus Christ. Through that experience, may we be better enabled to go out to others and invite them to share in the love we encounter in Christ and may this Jubilee Year be a time of Mercy in a world that is in much need of that great gift.”