Blessings, openings set for Holy Door sites around diocese

CAPTION: Bishop Daniel R. Jenky has designated the following churches and chapels as Holy Door sites in the Diocese of Peoria for the Holy Year of Mercy: clockwise from left, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Peoria; St. Robert Bellarmine Chapel at St. John Paul II Newman Center, Normal; the Shrine of the Most Holy Rosary, LaSalle; Sacred Heart Church, Peoria; St. John Catholic Chapel, Champaign, and St. Pius X Church, Rock Island.


“We look forward to welcoming many guests and visitors.”

So says Msgr. Mark Merdian, pastor of St. Pius X Parish in Rock Island, whose church is one of six sanctuaries in the Diocese of Peoria to be designated by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, as pilgrimage sites during the Holy Year of Mercy that opened Dec. 8.

Holy Doors of Mercy will be blessed and opened at each site prior to Masses in the coming days on the following schedule:

Tuesday, Dec. 8 — The Shrine Church of the Most Holy Rosary, 529 4th St., LaSalle, 7 a.m.; St. John’s Catholic Chapel, 604 E. Armory, Champaign, 5 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 9 — St. John Paul II Catholic Newman Center, 501 S. Main St., Normal, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 12 — St. Pius X Church, 2502 29th Ave., Rock Island, 4 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 13 — Sacred Heart Church, 504 Fulton St., Peoria, 10 a.m.; St. Mary’s Cathedral, 607 N.E. Madison, Peoria, 10:30 a.m.

Some of the churches are designating interior doors as their Holy Door, while others are using exterior entry doors.

Throughout the Holy Year of Mercy, a plenary indulgence is available for pilgrims entering the designated Holy Doors and fulfilling certain conditions including the sacrament of reconciliation and reception of the Eucharist.

Brochures explaining indulgences and other aspects of the Holy Year of Mercy will be available at each site. They are also explained in Bishop Jenky’s Festival Letter found in this issue of The Catholic Post and online at

Msgr. Stanley Deptula, rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral and pastor of parishes including Sacred Heart in Peoria, said that because of continuing extensive renovation in the cathedral, the opportunities for pilgrimage there will be limited in the coming months, which is why Bishop Jenky also designated Sacred Heart in downtown Peoria as a pilgrimage site.

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