PARK RIDGE, N.J. — Our Lady of Mercy in Park Ridge is one of 6 religious venues that's been designated as a pilgrim church for 2016 — and it's is letting visitors know with decorated doors.
The Pascack Road church is one of 6 religious venues recognized by the Catholic Archdiocese of Newark in the Extraordinary Jubilee of the Year of Mercy.
The doors are decorated with the logo of Jesus carrying a follower and Pope Francis, along with one of his quotes to symbolize sharing mercy and asking for forgiveness.
Bishop John Walter Flesey held a special ceremony at the church on Dec. 19 to open the doors for the program.
"In the world, there is a lot of fear and worry," said Rev. Charles P. Granstand, the pastor of the church. "It gives hope for us."
Every 50 years, the Catholic Church opens designated doors for occassions. The church then decided to conduct the event every 25 years, and then again, more frequently. The last opening of the holy door in Rome was in 2000, but this is the first time that this church has been asked to participate.
The pilgrim churches will are offering followers several opportunities to participate in a centuries-old religious activity from now through November 2016.
Other pilgrim churches include:
-Saint Francis Xavier in Newark
-Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus in Linden
-Divine Mercy in Rahway
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in Wallington
-Our Lady of Mercy in Jersey City
The Jubilee Year happens every few years, and the door in Rome was opened on December 8 by the pope. Pilgrims focus on reconciliation throughout the year and engage in plenary indulgence, or to experience the holiness of the church.
"We're trying to get the word out," Granstand said.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.