Pope pushes ‘door of mercy’ wider, sends missionaries to local parishes

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February 11, 2106

Dominican Father John Maria Devaney, who serves in the Archdiocese of New York, is a Missionary of Mercy during the Holy Year. Father Devaney is pictured outside St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Feb. 10. (CNS photo/Carol Glatz) See VATICAN-LETTER-MISSIONARIES-MERCY Feb. 11, 2016.

Dominican Father John Maria Devaney, who serves in the Archdiocese of New York, is a Missionary of Mercy during the Holy Year. Father Devaney is pictured outside St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Feb. 10. (CNS photo/Carol Glatz)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — After opening holy doors in Rome to begin the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has now pushed those passageways even wider by sending forth hundreds of “missionaries of mercy” to every corner of the earth.

Their special mission, he has said, is to be a living witness of God’s closeness and love — to knock on the doors of people’s hearts and let God into their lives, especially those who have become distant from the church.

The jubilee’s call for a church to “open wide the doors” has percolated down to local dioceses so that all people, not just Catholics and Christians, can feel welcome, said Jesuit Father Richard Shortall.

Read more in The Visitor…