Beyond the Year of Mercy

Some students and staff of Lagoon School Lagos share personal experiences of the recently concluded Year of Mercy and its aftermath.

Cardinal Emeritus Okojie in front of the holy door of the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery Lagos

‘‘The Year of Mercy has helped me examine my conscience much more deeply and to work on the aspects of my life which are lacking in God’s sight.” These were the words of a final year student at Lagoon School in Lagos.

Pope Francis proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, which ran from December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016. During that period, Holy Doors opened in major churches throughout the world became “doors of mercy” through which any could enter to experience the love of God who consoles, pardons and restores hope.

The desire for God’s mercy and a need to do some works of mercy prompted some young Nigerian students to pass through, not just one door, and not just in one country, but through three Holy Doors of Mercy. Students of Lagoon Secondary School Lagos took advantage of an educational trip to neighbouring Ivory Coast to pass through the Holy Door of the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace Yamaoussoukro, and the Cathédrale Saint Paul du Plateau in Abidjan. This was in addition to having through the Holy Door of the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in Lagos Nigeria.

Passing through a Holy Door of Mercy in a way helps one live the two great commandments of our Lord – love of God and of neighbour. For Timi, it helped her pause to reflect on the person she was, and become aware of the travails of others around her. And as Ojiare testifies, “Crossing the Holy Door has also helped me to build a stronger relationship with God and helped me grow in my faith.”

Story edited by Joan Egwuterai