By Liz Sullivan
It was a double celebration on November 4 at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph. First, the Diocese of San Jose commemorated the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the Cathedral. And second, there was the sealing of the Holy Door of Mercy.
Formerly known simply as Saint Joseph Church, the Cathedral was restored and dedicated as the Diocese’s Cathedral on November 4, 1990 by first Bishop of San Jose, Pierre DuMaine. The parish was founded in 1803 and is the oldest civil parish in California.
“Twenty-five years ago this day, this historic mother church became the de facto mother and head of all of the churches of our valley,” said Bishop Patrick J. McGrath. “At that time, the celebration was called, ‘A New House for the Church.’ How fitting, how true.”
As the Mass began, Bishop McGrath consecrated and sealed a door to the Cathedral. The Holy Door will be kept closed until it is ritually opened at the beginning of the Year of Mercy. Bishop McGrath will formerly open this Holy Door on December 13 at the 11:30 AM Mass.
On December 8, Pope Francis will open the Holy Door in Rome for the beginning of the Year of Mercy to symbolize the blessings that God wants to give anyone who asks. The Pope has invited every Catholic diocese in the world to establish a similar Holy Door in its Cathedral. These doors will be where the faithful can encounter God’s mercy and be strengthened to be merciful to others as God has been merciful to them.
“As we prepare for the Holy Year of Mercy, beginning on the 8th of December,” said Bishop McGrath, “the Holy Door, here in this Cathedral Church, will stand as an invitation for all to experience in their lives the same mercy, which Jesus extended to Zacchaeus (the chief tax collector, who whose house Jesus entered). God is alive, here in this city, here in this house. May God continue to bless the work of this Cathedral Parish, so that it will long be a beacon of mercy and hope to all who are drawn here. From this place, the Lord sends us out to be the bearers of the life, the love and the goodness we encounter, telling us in such simple words: ‘As I have done, so you must also do.”
For more information regarding the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph visit: www.stjosephcathedral.org.