Jubilee of Mercy Open Door Ceremony

"A time to Heal, to Help, to Forgive" –  Pope Francis
On Sunday February 28, 2016, the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption of the BVM in Perth Amboy, NJ became an official pilgrimage site for Holy Year of Mercy.  This is one of three parishes in New Jersey that have been designated by Pope Francis and Metropolitan-Archbishop Stefan for the clergy, religious, and faithful of our Archeparchy to visit during this Jubilee Year of Mercy and receive a plenary Jubilee Indulgence.
Nearly  300 people, including clergy, religious and laity participated at  the official opening of the Jubilee Year of Mercy at Assumption parish.  The ceremony began with a procession of the clergy from the rectory to the main entrance of the church.  Rev. Taras Lonchyna, pastor of St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church in Trenton, NJ and Dean of the NJ Deanery, along with Rev. Ivan Turyk, pastor of the Assumption parish in Perth Amboy, NJ  and visiting priests performed the rite of opening the two main doors of the church.  Fr. Taras  knocked on the Holy Door with the cross and the blessing of holy water followed, a reminder of our Baptism and our commitment to share God’s message of mercy and reconciliation. After the ceremony, the doors that were decorated by a banner and beautiful floral arrangement, were  opened and altar servers, priests and the congregation entered.
Fr. Taras Lonchyna together with concelebrating priests and the faithful (pilgrims) began to celebrate the "Akathist to the Divine Passion of Christ."  The church was filled to capacity.  Confessions were also being heard during this time.  At the conclusion of the Akathist service a very moving homily was delivered by Fr. Taras Lonchyna.  He emphasized the importance of Mercy and Forgiveness.  Echoing Pope Francis – "It is a favorable time to heal wounds, a time to offer everyone the way of Forgiveness and Reconciliation".  A gathering followed afterwards in the Church Hall with refreshments.  This has been truly a very blessed and special day in the history of the Assumption parish.