A New Week – June 2, 2024

I am happy to share that Fr. Patrick Baikauskas OP, has been appointed part-time Associate Pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish by Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski and Fr. Louis Morrone OP, Provincial of the Dominican Central Province. Fr. Patrick is also the Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Evangelization at Aquinas Institute of Theology, and will continue in this role as he establishes a presence at St. Margaret of Scotland. Fr. Patrick will continue to be in residence at the St. Dominic Priory on Lafayette Avenue. At St. Margaret, Fr. Patrick will be a regular presider at Mass and the Sacraments, assist at the school, be a presence at our parish events and activities, work with our various ministries, and bring his own talents and charisms to our parish life. Fr. Patrick has been a regular presider at Sunday Masses here in this last year or two, so many of you know him already. I believe that Fr. Patrick is a priest of the people, a dynamic preacher, a compassionate confessor, and he is very excited to get to know the community of St. Margaret of Scotland. Please help me welcome Fr. Patrick to St. Margaret of Scotland!

Returning to the upcoming Jubilee Year 2025, one of the most important parts of the Holy Year celebration is the opening of the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica, the other Roman Basilicas, and Cathedrals throughout the world. Walking through the holy doors during a holy year is a tangible sign of a pilgrimage and God’s blessings. It is the reason why I desire to visit Rome next year and have organized a pilgrimage!  

The Jubilee 2025 website says this about the Holy Door:

From a symbolic viewpoint, the Holy Door takes on a special significance: it is the most powerful sign of the Jubilee, since the ultimate aim of the pilgrim is to pass through it. The opening of the door by the Pope constitutes the official beginning of the Holy Year. Originally, there was only one door, at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, which is the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome. Later, to allow as many pilgrims as possible to take part in the Jubilee experience, the other Roman Basilicas also opened their own holy doors.

In crossing the threshold of the Holy Door, the pilgrim is reminded of the passage from chapter 10 of St John’s gospel: “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” Passing through the Holy Door expresses the decision to follow and be guided by Jesus, who is the Good Shepherd. The door is a passageway that ushers the pilgrim into the interior of a church. For the Christian community, a church is not only a sacred space, to be approached with respect, with appropriate behavior and dress code, but it is a symbol of the communion that binds every believer to Christ: it is a place of encounter and dialogue, of reconciliation and peace which awaits every pilgrim, the Church is essentially the place of the community of the faithful.

In Rome, this experience takes on a special significance because of the special links between the Eternal City and Saints Peter and Paul, the apostles who founded the Christian community in Rome and whose teachings and example are models for the universal Church. The tombs of Saints Peter and Paul are located in Rome, they were martyred here; and together with the catacombs, these sacred sites are places of continuous spiritual inspiration.

Pope Francis will open and pass through the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica next Christmas Eve, and the Jubilee Year 2025 will begin!

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