Day of Mercy


God desires to show His people mercy.
The difficulty comes when we create barriers to the mercy through the hardness of our hearts.

Come open your heart to the flow of God's mercy and grace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Sunday, October 9, 2016, at Catholic churches in the Diocese of Salina - part of the Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis.

To help prepare for this Day of Mercy, a special reflection guide has been designed to help facilitate conversation about where people are in their faith journey, what is troubling their hearts and changes they would like to make in their lives.  These guides are available at local parishes of by clicking the link below.

Join us Sunday, October 9, 2016 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.

For more information, call Father Steve Heina at the Office of New Evangelization, (785) 827-8746, Ext. 20, or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or contact your local parish.

Holy door opened at Sacred Heart Cathedral

The Holy Year traditionally begins with the opening of the Holy Door to represent a renewed opportunity to encounter or grow closer to Jesus, who calls everyone to redemption.

Jesus knocks on everyone’s door; he yearns to accompany and nourish everyone. “If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me,” the Book of Revelation quotes him as saying.

But doors are also narrow, the late-Cardinal Virgilio Noe, the former archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica wrote, and people must stoop with humility and “be brought down to size by conversion” in order to be “fit” for eternal life.

That is why passing through a Holy Door is part of a longer process of sacrifice and conversion required for receiving an indulgence granted during a Holy Year.

A plenary indulgence, the remission of temporal punishment due to sin, is offered for pilgrims who also fulfill certain other conditions: reception of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, visits and prayers for the intention of the pope and performing simple acts such as visiting the sick.


Diocese plans events for jubilee year

Salina — For Father Steve Heina, the upcoming Year of Mercy means just one thing:  “It’s all about hope,” he said.  On Divine Mercy Sunday in April, Pope Francis announced a Jubilee Year of Mercy to be celebrated from Dec. 8 until Nov. 20, 2016.

The theme of the year is “Merciful Like the Father,” but Father Heina has his own take on it: “To set free those entrapped by darkness, sin and death: not to accuse, but to give hope.”   “It’s all about hope — a balance of justice and mercy, in the words of Pope Francis,” he added.

As moderator of the diocesan Office of the New Evangelization, Father Heina is working in tandem with Father Frank Coady, Father Don Zimmerman and Father Joseph Kieffer — and under the direction of Bishop Edward Weisenburger — in crafting diocesan events for the Year of Mercy.

Many of their ideas are still in the planning stages, and as Father Heina noted, the Vatican is still developing and disseminating suggestions on how the year should be recognized.

  • Key events have been approved to date: The opening of holy doors at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina and the Basilica of St. Fidelis in Victoria.
  • A special Year of Faith examination of conscience to be distributed before the start of Lent on Feb. 10.
  • Year of Mercy Masses in each of the four vicariates of the diocese.
  • A diocesan Day of Mercy on Oct. 9.

Pope Francis has spoken repeatedly on the need for mercy, not only among the faithful but by the Church itself.  “He says you can’t change the rules of Christian living, but perhaps we as a Church can do better being with, walking with people who aren’t following the rules, and to do it in a more compassionate kind of way,” Father Heina said.

The diocesan events all incorporate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which Father Heina said is key to receiving God’s mercy.  But he added that Pope Francis also is stressing that action focusing on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy is imperative.

“Pope Francis says it’s critical that to experience God’s mercy, to the best of our efforts there has to be some kind of hands-on action, either Spiritual or Corporal Works of Mercy,” Father Heina said, “not only to fulfill a requirement but to open our own hearts to God’s grace in the process.”

Here are details about events planned so far:

Holy doors

  • The faithful will be able to receive a plenary indulgence by entering through the holy door at either Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina or the Basilica of St. Fidelis in Victoria.
  • Upon entering, the penitent should kneel in front of the Blessed Sacrament and pray one decade of the Rosary for the pope’s intentions; begin with the Our Father, pray 10 Hail Marys and close with the Glory Be. Then exit the church through the holy door. Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation within 20 days before or after such a pilgrimage and complete one of the Spiritual or Corporal Works of Mercy, and you may receive a plenary indulgence — the release from any temporal punishment due to sin.
  • Those who are confined to their homes can obtain the indulgence by offering up their sickness and suffering. Those who are imprisoned may receive the indulgence with prayers and the reception of the sacraments in their prison chapel.
  • Holy doors will be opened before the 8 a.m. Mass Dec. 8 at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina and at the 10 a.m. Mass Dec. 13 at the Basilica of St. Francis in Victoria.

A special Year of Faith examination of conscience

  • It will “invite people to prayerfully reflect on their lives, that by God’s grace and their repentance, there’s a way out, a way they can be changed to live more like a disciple of Jesus,” Father Heina explained. “The message is that for people who have not come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation for a while, that it is depriving them of a source of hope.”

Year of Mercy Masses

  • The Masses will fulfill the Sunday obligation but also will have special prayers and a focus on the theme of mercy. Printed resources will be available at the receptions afterward.
  • The Masses will take place in each of the four vicariates.
    • West Central — March 13 at the Basilica of St. Fidelis in Victoria
    • East Central — Aug. 21 at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina
    • West — Aug. 28 at Sacred Heart Church in Colby
      • (Each of these begins with Reconciliation at 3 p.m., the Rosary led by the bishop at 3:30 p.m., Mass beginning at 4 p.m. and a simple reception afterward.)
    • East — Sept. 11 at St. Thomas More Church in Manhattan
      • (Reconciliation at 4:30 p.m., the Rosary led by the bishop at 5 p.m., Mass beginning at 5:30 p.m. and a simple reception afterward.)

Diocesan Day of Mercy

  • There will be a simultaneous availability of confessions across the diocese from 2 to 4 p.m. (Central time) on Sunday, Oct. 9.
  • “It communicates a source of unity as a diocese, this common time when we are placing ourselves before God in trust and hope in the power of his mercy,” Father Heina said.
  • The Dec. 11 Register will explain further the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy and suggest what the faithful can do.

Spiritual Works of Mercy

  • Bear wrongs patiently
  • Pray for the living and the dead
  • Admonish sinners
  • Counsel the doubtful
  • Instruct the ignorant
  • Forgive offenses
  • Comfort the afflicted

Corporal Works of Mercy

  • Give drink to the thirsty
  • Give food to the hungry
  • Visit the imprisoned
  • Care for the sick
  • Shelter the homeless
  • Clothe the naked
  • Bury the dead