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SSVP’s Tryst with the Holy Doors of Mercy

April 24, 2016

On Sunday, April 24, 2016, members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, from all over Mumbai, even as far away as Nerul and Uttan, gathered at the Cathedral of the Holy Name, Colaba, to  walk through the Holy Doors of Mercy. The pilgrimage was organised by the Central Council of Bombay.  Present, at the gathering, was Bro. Johnson Verghese, National President of the SSVP, who had come all the way from Kerala.

The Vincentians began arriving from 11.30am onwards and soon the numbers swelled to around 600! They congregated in the porch, in front of the Doors of Mercy and recited the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy in preparation for the ‘spiritual walk’ that they had waited for, for so long.

At 12.20 pm, the celebrant, Fr. Sunder Albuquerque (Financial Administrator, Archdiocese of Bombay), and the Vincentians gathered in front of the statue St. John Paul II, for the inaugural prayers. After the prayers, the altar servers led the celebrant and the congregation through the Holy Doors and into the Cathedral. It was a spiritually uplifting moment as every whispered prayer for the gift of mercy rose in fervent supplication.

The celebration of the Holy Eucharist was marked by the joyous participation of all present who lifted up their voices in wholehearted worship, praise and song.  In his homily, among many things, Fr. Sunder said, “You, Vincentians, are the field doctors that the Holy Father talks about. We take inspiration from you. You are symbols of sacrifice.” He added, “Part of the pilgrimage is walking with others. So, help others. Every time you help others, you advance on the road to Mercy. The ‘door’ is symbolic of Christ and we are reminded of this in the Gospel of John, where Jesus says, ‘I am the door and anyone who comes through, will be saved’.  Jesus is the ‘threefold’ door that leads to God our Father, to forgiveness and to love.’

After the Eucharist, the Vincentians gathered around, meeting one another, recounting personal feelings/experiences as they had walked through the Door of Mercy, and plenty more. All, spiritually refreshed, now joined in for a bit of fellowship.

-       Report and photographs by Julius D’Souza,
Editor, Karunya Deep (official publication of the SSVP)

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