MCS Community Creates Door of Mercy, Inspired by Rome’s Holy Door, in this 2016 “Year of Mercy”

February 15, 2016

The Door of Mercy is a special Holy Door which Pope Francis has asked to be opened in every Diocese during the Extraordinary Holy Year in order to allow the faithful in every part of the world to experience the Mercy of the Father in its fullness.

When the Catholic Diocese of Burlington encouraged the schools to create their own Doors of Mercy, the MCS community immediately set about planning its Door.

Since the school is sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, and since the students and teachers are very aware of the Sisters Five Critical Concerns, the decision was made to use the idea of Mercy and these Concerns as the themes of the Door.

Makerspace Director, Tricia Finkle,  suggested that the school create door-sized sections with a total of 16 panels modeled on the 16 panels of the Vatican’s doors. The panels would resemble stained glass similar to the ones in the Sisters’ chapel but would be created using acrylic paint on Plexiglas. The panels would be set into wooden doors constructed for the occasion.

Each class planned and painted its own panel, choosing either Mercy or one or more of the Critical Concerns: Immigration, Racism, Earth, Nonviolence and Women.

One of the first grades decided that it would devote its panel to Earth and invited one of the Sisters to talk to them about Mercy Farm, a sponsored Mercy ministry located in Benson, VT. As a result of the discussion, this panel features a barn, sheep, chickens and a Sister watering carrots. Carrots were one of the main ideas the children remembered about the discussion with the exception of the Farm’s two sheep, Dexter and Bailey.

Mater Christi held the commemoration of its Sacred Door on February 1, the beginning of Catholic Schools Week. The event began in the school’s gym where representatives from each class explained their Door panel. After the reading of the Holy Door Prayer by Principal, Anthony Fontana, and led by four trumpeters, the entire school in single file and in silence processed to the middle school building where the Door is located. As each person walked through the door, he/she dropped a symbol of the Critical Concerns into baskets held by 8th graders. As the procession filed by the library, they were greeted by the kindergartners and first graders singing, with a great deal of energy, “Give Me Joy.”

Later that day, the pre-kindergarten students asked if they could create their own panels and their teacher, Patty La Mothe, helped them to do so. Patty was extremely impressed by the excitement of her little ones and their understanding of this special event.

Sister Joanne LaFreniere, RSM
Director of Public Relations and Spiritual Life