Salve Regina kicks off Jubilee Year of Mercy with candlelight ceremony on Dec. 8

The Salve Regina community will gather by candlelight to celebrate the opening of the university’s “Jubilee Year of Mercy” with a ceremony at the iconic iron gates at the entrance of Ochre Court on Tuesday, Dec. 8 from 4-4:30 p.m. The public is welcome.

The event, “Opening the Gates – Mercy Empowers,” will feature a proclamation to open the Jubilee Year, which was announced worldwide by Pope Francis in April. The celebration kicks off across the globe on Tuesday, which marks the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. It will end on Nov. 20, 2016, on the feast of Christ the King.

Throughout its celebration of the Holy Year of Mercy, Salve Regina will be presenting numerous events allowing for reflection on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

“The Jubilee Year of Mercy is a special opportunity to reaffirm our own commitment to putting empathy into action, to sharing the journey of those around us, and to celebrating the defining values of our University,” said Salve Regina President Jane Gerety, RSM.

Participants will gather at the Ochre Court gates at 4 p.m., where all will receive candles and the university choir will be singing. Jayme Hennessey, associate professor of Religious and Theological Studies, will present “The Gates as a Gateway,” students will offer Psalms of Mercy and Sister Jane will read the official Proclamation.

At 4:20 p.m., trumpets will sound and the bells of Our Lady of Mercy Chapel will be rung as the ceremonial ribbon is cut to open the Jubilee Year. A reception will follow in the Ochre Court Great Hall at 4:30. Ochre Court, Salve Regina’s main administration building, is located at 100 Ochre Point Ave.

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As a community that welcomes people of all beliefs, Salve Regina University, a Catholic institution founded by the Sisters of Mercy, seeks wisdom and promotes universal justice.

The University through teaching and research prepares men and women for responsible lives by imparting and expanding knowledge, developing skills and cultivating enduring values. Through liberal arts and professional programs, students develop their abilities for thinking clearly and creatively, enhance their capacity for sound judgment and prepare for the challenge of learning throughout their lives.

In keeping with the traditions of the Sisters of Mercy, and recognizing that all people are stewards of God's creation, the University encourages students to work for a world that is harmonious, just and merciful.