Chapel of the Holy Cross
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By Colleen Sikora
The Catholic Sun
SEDONA — One of the smallest chapels in the Diocese of Phoenix was transformed Dec. 13 as the Holy Doors of Mercy were opened at the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona.
Pope Francis called for the designation and opening of Holy Doors in every diocese around the world as a part of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. With Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix being one, the Chapel of the Holy Cross is the diocese’s second Holy Door pilgrimage site. The Holy Father allowed for dioceses to designate a second set of Holy Doors for frequently-visited churches. Located in the mountains, the Chapel of the Holy Cross is a frequently-visited tourist stop.
“It’s amazing, a great blessing to the parish, really a gift to the whole northland to have a set of Jubilee Doors,” said Fr. Kieran Kleczewski, pastor for the Chapel of the Holy Cross, and director of the diocese’s Office of Worship and Liturgy.
With the opening of the Holy Doors, anyone who walks through the doors in a state of grace, receives confession, and says specific prayers for the Holy Father, receives a plenary indulgence, allowing the person to not only be forgiven of their sins, but the temporal punishment as well.
It’s blessing expected to touch many lives this year at the Chapel of the Holy Cross.
“People don’t realize it, but 2.5 million visitors come through these doors every year,” said Fr. Kleczewksi.
Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares celebrated the opening Mass, just outside of the small chapel. Bishop Nevares reiterated the call of the Holy Father to live out mercy.
“We try not only to receive the mercy of God, but to be those instruments through which we can show the mercy of God to our brothers and sisters,” he said.
Bishop Nevares also suggested in his homily to not only live out mercy in practical ways through the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, but stressed the spiritual side of the jubilee year.
“In particular, … pray for our brothers and sisters, relatives, and friends who no longer practice the faith,” said Bishop Nevares.
Jack Nourse, who was visiting from Spokane, Washington, with his wife, took Bishop Nevares’ words to heart.
“Along with mercy comes forgiveness, it’s kind of one in the same,” said Nourse. “[You] just try to do more for others than yourself.”
Fr. Kleczewksi said new additions expected to be completed by local artists in the next six months would be coming to the Chapel of the Holy Cross. These additions include: an image of Our Lady of Mercy, four silk hangings and a corpus for the cross in the chapel.
Regardless of the façade changes to the chapel, the Holy Father’s call during this Year of Mercy is for a change in the hearts of the faithful.
“Let us go and share his love and mercy with all that we meet,” said Bishop Nevares.
— By Colleen Sikora, The Catholic Sun.