Aquinas staff, parents and pupils attend the Opening of the Holy Door in St Patrick’s Church, Donegall Street, to mark the beginning of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy

Pope Francis opened the Holy Door of Mercy in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome last Wednesday, the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and instructed bishops in every diocese throughout the world to do likewise in their cathedrals or especially designated churches.

In Down and Connor, Bishop Noel Treanor chose St Patrick’s Church, Donegall Street, which this year celebrates its bicentenary, to host the Holy Door for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, and on Sunday evening he presided over a most beautiful liturgy, during which he opened the Holy Door to be used by pilgrims from throughout the diocese and beyond.

As a diocesan college, Aquinas was well represented by teachers, parents and pupils who were both moved and impressed by the solemn liturgy.  As they arrived at St Patrick’s they were lucky enough to be the first people accommodated in the upper galleries of the church, which ensured that they enjoyed a bird’s-eye view of all the proceedings.

After the Mass the pupils met with the Bishop and had a photograph taken with him to mark this very special and historic occasion.