Pilgrimages captured with a “Holy Door Selfie”

By: ELIZABETH WILSON
Special to the Florida Catholic

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS | A new initiative at Annunciation Parish in Altamonte Springs is encouraging parishioners to take “Holy Door Selfies” during the Jubilee of Mercy.

A concept devised by Lois Wirth, manager of faith formation for children and youth, the project is intended to help explain the significance of Holy Doors and inform parishioners on how to receive the plenary indulgence by making a pilgrimage to visit them.

“Social media, tweets, texts and selfies are just an everyday part of our lives and our youngest parishioners really don’t even know life without them,” explained Wirth. “The children responded with so much enthusiasm and interest after learning that there were Holy Doors locally that we decided to put the challenge out there to our entire parish community to receive a plenary indulgence by making the pilgrimage to a Holy Door and capturing this special visit with a ‘selfie’.

The parish receives new selfies nearly every day and shares them in the weekly bulletin and on the Annunciation website (http://annunciationorlando.org/holy-doors/) where parishioners can learn more about receiving the plenary indulgence. Many of the photos are in front of the Diocese of Orlando Holy Doors, located at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe in Orlando. But as the summer months approach, parishioners are encouraged to make pilgrimages to the Holy Doors in whatever town they are visiting on vacations.

“We have had a great response from all generations who are excited to share their pilgrimages with us,” said Wirth. “The most obvious goals of this initiative were educational and promotional but I think most would agree that another outcome is that beautiful family memories are being created as families and friends and make this pilgrimage together.”

Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy Plenary Indulgence

To obtain the Indulgence, the faithful are called to make a brief pilgrimage to a designated Holy Door as a sign of the deep desire for true conversion.

The moment must be linked to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to the celebrations with the professions of faith (such as the Mass) and with prayer for the Holy Father and his intentions.

About Indulgences:
“Through an indulgence, God grants the prayer of the Church that the temporal penalty for sin due to someone be reduced (or possibly eliminated). By God’s grace, participation in a prayer or action that has an indulgence attached to it brings about the necessary restoration and reparation without the suffering that would normally accompany it.” From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

For more information visit: Year of Mercy Indulgences