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A passport to mercy

MANILA (Agencies): With inauguration of the Jubilee of Mercy, the archdiocese of Manila is pushing people to put a new twist to their pilgrimages to the designated churches for the year.

The diocese plans to issue passports, which will contain a guide to and a brief history of the various churches, as well as information on parish activities that are connected with the pilgrimage year.

Father Regie Malicdem, the chancellor of the archdiocese, called it a pilgrim passport designed to make visits to the Manila Cathedral; the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Makati City; Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Mandaluyong City; Santuario de Santo Cristo in San Juan City; and Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Pasay City more accessible.

“Rectors and parish priests have been coordinating on how to make pilgrimages fruitful and meaningful to pilgrims,” Father Malicdem said.

He explained that the five churches were chosen for the pilgrimage because of their connection with the theme of mercy.

He said those who participate can get their passports stamped when they visit the cathedral church.

“Passports are available at all five churches. The may start and end at any church then they will also be given a certificate of pilgrimage,” he added.

But there are a few must dos. One is entering the Holy Door at the cathedral, silent adoration and meditation, veneration of the Jubilee Cross and donating to the archdiocesan charitable programmes.

He said the Holy Year aims to promote an understanding of merciful love.

Father Jason Laguerta called it a good metaphor for life.

“We are able to receive the mercy of God. Ritual is meaningless if not coupled with works of mercy and concrete actions towards charity,” Father Laguerta said.

“Mercy is not just a concept or an abstract idea, but an action word. It is something that we do… perform acts of mercy towards one another,” he continued.

In Manila, Luis Cardinal Tagle opened the Jubilee Door at the cathedral on December 9.


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