The People of Christ the King Parish, Voruvoru conveyed their thanks to the Holy Father, Pope Francis for initiating the Jubilee year of Mercy. It is timely for those of them who lived in rather isolated places where visitation and other necessary services are lacking to the world outside of them. It has also helped to strengthen their local Catholic communities as well as building the relationship amongst them. The pilgrimage created solidarity in communities. They extended their sincere thanks to Most Rev. Bishop Luciano Capelli SDB of Gizo Diocese for his support by enabling the Holy Door to reach their shore and other parts in the Diocese. Also to the Diocesan Team of Pastoral Animation (DTPA) Led by the Episcopal Vicar General; Fr. Jacob Qetobatu for their hard work and dedication. They live in an unpredictable situation where at times they are unsure of their place in the country as well as in the Church. They know that access to their location is rather difficult, and this has contributed to a larger degree in isolating them from outside communication.
Although the gesture might be a small thing, it has a tremendous impact in their lives. Such a program made it possible to celebrate and share the many skills and talents that are available to them and yet are hidden. There has been a lot of transformation in people’s lives. On occasions they have gone through and prepared their place in the Church, a home in God’s Kingdom. They have taken the Holy Door pilgrimage seriously; they have gone through some prolonged and intense spiritual preparation in order to have the Holy Door come to their shore. They have had awareness talks, sermons and discussions that focused very much on the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Together with these, they have had more than 70 weddings for couples who were living outside of the sacramental life of the Church for many years; they have had many baptisms and many other spiritual exercises that helped them prepare to receive the Holy Door. In addition, blessings and prayers were offered for those who could not be reconciled with the Church because of particular reasons beyond their control. They are aware that the year of mercy was offered to them by the Church so as to keep them closer to God and to one another. Indulgence grace and mercy were granted to them during this special year for which they are very thankful to the Holy Father; Pope Francis for such a great concern for people who were isolated from the sacraments for many years. Consequently the gap between the active Christians and those isolated because of sacramental reasons has been restored. In their society they went through some difficult times, there are issues and problems that are new and yet they are quite destructive to their communities. Moral and religious issues that hold the society together are somewhat challenged by modern thinkers. But the Jubilee Year of Mercy and the visit of the Holy Door have greatly influenced the ways they think and do things.
The Holy door left Christ the King Parish and went through St Dominic Parish Sirovanga and continued the journey to St Joseph Parish and concluded the pilgrimage to the Shortland islands, visiting five zones. The people of Maleai Village expressed their joy by celebrating the jubilee year of mercy and offered a cow and three pigs to mark the day.
Today the Holy Door arrived back at St Peter Parish Gizo on 19th May 2016 with a welcome from the parishioners of Gizo.