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Vatican holds contest to choose music for official hymn of 2025 Jubilee Year

September 17, 2022 Catholic News Agency 1
The logo of the 2025 Jubilee. The Vatican’s Dicastery for Evangelization is organizing the Catholic Church’s next Holy Year around the theme “Pilgrims of Hope.” / Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Vatican City, Sep 17, 2022 / 05:12 am (CNA).

The Vatican will hold a contest to choose the original musical composition for the official hymn of the Catholic Church’s 2025 Jubilee Year.

The Dicastery for Evangelization announced the sacred music writing competition Sept. 17. The contest will open for submissions early next year.

Entries, the dicastery said, should set to music a text in Italian by the theologian Monsignor Pierangelo Sequeri. After the winning music is chosen next year, the evangelization office will translate the text into other major languages.

The text is titled “Pilgrims of Hope,” after the theme of the 2025 Jubilee. The refrain, translated into English by CNA, is: “Living flame of my hope, May this song reach up to Thee! Eternal womb of infinite life, On my way I trust in Thee.”

According to the regulations set out by the Vatican, the musical composition should include a score for voice and organ, and be able to be sung both by church congregations and by four-part church choirs.

The competition will be open for submissions from Jan. 16 to March 25, 2023, and the winner will be chosen by a judging committee in collaboration with the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music. Full regulations can be found on the webpage of the 2025 Jubilee.

The logo for the 2025 Jubilee Year was also chosen after a worldwide competition, and unveiled in June.

A Jubilee is a special Holy Year of grace and pilgrimage in the Catholic Church. An ordinary Jubilee typically takes place every 25 years, though a pope may call for additional Jubilees, as Pope Francis did with the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy from 2015-2016.

The last ordinary Jubilee was the Great Jubilee of 2000, which was held under Saint Pope John Paul II and had the theme “Christ Yesterday, Today, Forever.”

In its announcement of the hymn-writing competition Saturday, the Dicastery for Evangelization said that “the Sacred Scriptures are steeped in song, and the Psalms are a striking example: the prayers of the people of Israel were written to be sung, and it was in song that the most human events were presented before the Lord.”

“The tradition of the Church has continued this, making music and song one of the lungs of its liturgy,” the dicastery said.

The evangelization office, which is responsible for organizing the Jubilee, said “many themes of the Holy Year are woven into the text” of the hymn prepared by Monsignor Pierangelo Sequeri, who is the former dean of the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for the Sciences of Marriage and the Family in Rome.

“The motto, ‘Pilgrims of Hope,’” it said, “is best echoed biblically in some pages from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 9 and Isaiah 60). The themes of creation, fraternity, God’s tenderness and hope in our destination resonate in a language, which although not ‘technically’ theological, is in substance and in the allusions, so that it rings eloquently in the ears of our time.”

The full lyrics of what will become the official hymn of the 2025 Jubilee can be found below. It has been translated into English from the Italian original by CNA.

Pilgrims of Hope

Living flame of my hope
may this song reach up to Thee!
Eternal womb of infinite life
on the way I trust in Thee.

Every tongue, people and nation
finds light in your Word.
Sons and daughters scattered and fragile
are embraced in your beloved Son.

Living flame of my hope
may this song reach up to Thee!
Eternal womb of infinite life
on the way I trust in Thee.

God watches us, tender and patient:
the dawn of a new future rises.
New Heavens Earth made new:
the Spirit of Life moves walls.

Living flame of my hope
may this song reach up to Thee!
Eternal womb of infinite life
on the way I trust in Thee.

Lift up your eyes, move with the wind,
speed up your step: God comes, in time.
See the Son who became Man:
thousands upon thousands find the way.

Living flame of my hope
may this song reach up to Thee!
Eternal womb of infinite life
on the way I trust in Thee.

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Vatican launches global contest to design 2025 Jubilee Year logo

February 22, 2022 Catholic News Agency 1
Pope Francis before the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica during the convocation of the Jubilee of Mercy, April 11, 2015. / L’Osservatore Romano.

Vatican City, Feb 22, 2022 / 09:00 am (CNA).

The Vatican is holding a worldwide competition to choose the official logo for the Catholic Church’s 2025 Jubilee Year.

A Jubilee is a special Holy Year of grace and pilgrimage in the Catholic Church, which typically takes place every 25 years.

As preparations for the Jubilee year get underway in Rome, the Vatican’s evangelization office has opened up a contest to decide the year’s official logo.

The competition was announced on Feb. 22, and submissions can be uploaded to the website from April 1 to May 20.

Both teams and individuals can enter, and the winning submission will be chosen by a panel of judges from the Pontifical Council for the Promoting the New Evangelization.

The motto for the 2025 Jubilee, approved by Pope Francis, is “Pilgrims of Hope.”

“The logo must portray the essence of the Jubilee event, with particular attention given to the motto,” according to the submission guidelines.

The 2025 Jubilee will be the Church’s first ordinary jubilee since St. John Paul II led the Great Jubilee of 2000. The Jubilee of Mercy opened by Pope Francis in 2015 was an extraordinary jubilee.

Other required features for the Holy Year’s official logo are that it be original and unpublished, distinctive, adaptable to printing on different materials, and usable in both color and black and white.

The logo should also include the Latin phrases “Iubilaeum A.D. MMXXV,” which means “Jubilee 2025,” and “Peregrinantes in spem,” which means “Pilgrims of Hope.”

The Vatican’s evangelization office said that the competition was “open to all” and “anyone can participate, subject to acceptance of the rules and regulations.”

The pontifical council recalled that the winner of the logo contest for the Holy Year of 2000 was a 22-year-old woman studying at an art institute.

Her entry “has become part of history,” it said.

“The Jubilee’s logo symbolically conveys a message in an immediate and fitting way, and is an expression both of the universality of the Church’s message and of the particular spiritual needs of our contemporaries, who find comfort in this message, inspired by the theme of hope,” the evangelization council said.

In a letter published earlier this month, Pope Francis called for a “great symphony of prayer” ahead of the Jubilee Year in 2025.

The pope made the appeal in a Feb. 11 letter to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.

“As is customary, the Bull of Indiction, to be issued in due course, will contain the necessary guidelines for celebrating the Jubilee of 2025,” he wrote.

“In this time of preparation, I would greatly desire that we devote 2024, the year preceding the Jubilee event, to a great ‘symphony’ of prayer.”

Jubilees have biblical roots, with the Hebrew Bible describing how jubilee years were held every 50 years for the freeing of slaves and forgiveness of debts as manifestations of God’s mercy.

The practice was re-established in 1300 by Boniface VIII. Pilgrims to Rome were granted a plenary indulgence. Between 1300 and 2000, 29 jubilee years were held in Rome.

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Vatican unveils motto for 2025 Jubilee Year

January 13, 2022 Catholic News Agency 4
Pope Francis opens the Holy Doors at St. Peter’s Basilica to begin the Year of Mercy, Dec. 8, 2015. / L’Osservatore Romano.

Vatican City, Jan 13, 2022 / 10:27 am (CNA).

Preparations are already underway in Rome for the 2025 Jubilee, a special year of grace and pilgrimage in the Catholic Church.

Archbishop Rino Fisichella met with Pope Francis this month to discuss the motto for the jubilee. 

In a video published by Vatican News on Jan. 13, Fisichella revealed that the motto approved by the pope “can be summed up in two words: Pilgrims of Hope.”

The 2025 Jubilee will be the Church’s first ordinary jubilee since St. John Paul II led The Great Jubilee of 2000. The Jubilee of Mercy opened by Pope Francis in 2015 was an extraordinary jubilee.

Archbishop Fisichella leads the Vatican dicastery entrusted with the event’s organization, the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.

“There is so much work to be done,” he said.

The 2025 Jubilee will include the opening of the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica. Pilgrims who pass through the door – which is only opened during Jubilee years, ordinarily every 25 years or when a pope calls for an extraordinary Jubilee – can receive a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions.

The four major basilicas in Rome all have Holy Doors. During the Extraordinary Jubilee of 2015, Pope Francis also granted cathedral churches around the world permission to establish and open a Holy Door.

Jubilees have biblical roots, as the Mosaic era established jubilee years to be held every 50 years for the freeing of slaves and forgiveness of debts as manifestations of God’s mercy.

The practice was re-established in 1300 by Boniface VIII. Pilgrims to Rome were granted a plenary indulgence. Between 1300 and 2000, 29 jubilee years were held in Rome.

“To pass through the Holy Door means to rediscover the infinite mercy of the Father who welcomes everyone and goes out personally to encounter each of them. It is he who seeks us! It is he who comes to encounter us,” Pope Francis said as he opened the jubilee Holy Door on St. Peter’s Basilica on Dec. 8, 2015.

“In passing through the Holy Door, then, may we feel that we ourselves are part of this mystery of love, of tenderness. Let us set aside all fear and dread, for these do not befit men and women who are loved. Instead, let us experience the joy of encountering that grace which transforms all things,” he said.

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Local artists add beauty to Los Angeles exhibit ‘250 Years of Mission’ to celebrate Jubilee Year

September 20, 2021 Catholic News Agency 0
Lalo Garcia’s painting of Saint Junípero Serra is featured in the ‘250 Years of Mission’ exhibit. / Lalo Garcia.

Los Angeles, Calif., Sep 20, 2021 / 15:34 pm (CNA).

On September 11, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles began a Jubilee Year, Forward in Mission, to mark 250 years since the opening of the region’s first church, Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, founded in 1771 by Saint Junípero Serra. An exhibit titled 250 Years of Mission will be on display at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels through Sept. 10, 2022, to tell the story of the Catholic faith in the region.   

“The Church has left such an indelible mark on our culture here from street names, the city names, and everything in between, to our radical charity in the community,” said Father Parker Sandoval, Vice Chancellor for Ministerial Services for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “We thought it was very important to put forward to everyone for free, in an accessible space, a display of beauty and an opportunity to learn the richness of our history.” 

Local artists Aurelio G. D. Mendoza, Lalo Garcia, and John Nava are featured in the exhibit, which spans four galleries inside the cathedral. The galleries include historical documents and artifacts; colonial art from Spain and Mexico; Native American religious art; and the contributions of Mendoza, Garcia, and Nava. 

“Historically, here in Southern California, the missions are extremely important, not only as a tourist attraction, but as the seed of Catholicism,” said Garcia, whose oil painting of Saint Junípero Serra is in the exhibit. “I hope that you get a feel of Southern California, who we are, the buildings that we have here in the Camino Real, feel proud of the heritage as Californianos, and see the good things that he [St. Junípero Serra] did.” 

Garcia’s painting, which was commissioned by Archbishop José Gomez in honor of the canonization of Saint Junípero Serra in 2015, measures 30-by-40-inches and has a halo made of 24-karat gold leaf. He hopes his works become an “instrument for historians, priests, seminarians, teachers, anybody who acquires the piece, so that they can actually talk about it,” he said.

“I spend a lot of time reading, meditating, and thinking about the piece that I am going to create,” said Garcia, who came to the United States from Mexico when he was 13 years old. “It gives me more responsibility to create this type of art when I have seen people praying in front of an image that I have painted. I want the piece to be worthy of the space it’s going to take.” 

Two large oil paintings by Aurelio G. D. Mendoza (1901-1996) are also included in the exhibit. The two pieces are part of a trilogy called El Camino Real, which aim to depict both conversion of the Indigenous people and the construction of missions in California. In the first piece, which measures six-feet tall by five-feet wide, Mendoza painted Saint Junípero Serra pointing ahead, “signaling the way to follow,” said his granddaughter Lucy Mendoza. 

Mendoza’s second painting in the exhibit, titled Mision San Diego de Alcala, is five feet tall by eight-and-a-half feet wide. It shows Saint Junípero Serra with Father Sanchez, the architect of the San Diego mission, among both the Indigenous people and the Spanish soldiers.

“He took great care in making sure the Indigenous were portrayed with such beauty and grace,” said Lucy Mendoza.

Both pieces were completed in approximately 1976, when Mendoza was 75 years old. 

“You want people to feel a sense of pride in the history of California—and I know there’s been some pain, there’s been some controversy—but I also feel that there’s so much good also,” said Lucy Mendoza. “My abuelito always said that so much can be learned through art.” 

The scale of Mendoza’s pieces, Father Sandoval said, are in themselves impactful. 

“They’re huge, they literally fill walls, and the images just pop,” he said. “Then, knowing that these were painted by people who have a devotion to the saints they are depicting makes them particularly beautiful.”

John Nava, the third local artist included in the exhibit, wove the tapestry for the Mass of Canonization of Saint Junípero Serra in 2015 in Washington, D.C.. Nava’s tapestry is on display in the same chapel as the other artists’ works. 

“It’s not simply that they’re great artists, but fundamentally they’re people of faith,” said Father Sandoval. “That really comes through in the artwork.”

In addition to the local artists, 250 Years of Mission includes religious objects and art from Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, which fell victim to arson in July 2020, as well as materials from the archdiocesan archives. 

The exhibit aims to be both educational and beautiful, said Father Sandoval. 

“We live in a time where we are bombarded by bad news and ugliness on the newsfeed, on the front page, and on the screen,” said Father Sandoval. “That’s why we thought it was really important to accent the beauty of our faith and the history of the church and our mission here.” 

The exhibit is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Since the galleries line the sides of the cathedral, the exhibit is open anytime the cathedral is open to the public. 

“We hope that people not only enjoy the beauty and learn the history, but, above all, feel inspired to build on the legacy of faith that started here 250 years ago,” said Father Sandoval. “This is a summons to revival, to renewal, to refocus on what matters most, which is putting people in contact with Jesus.” 

“We hope we can bring as many people—especially young people—as possible to visit and feel moved to move into mission,” he said. 


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