Discovering personal greatness in pre-school through grade 8 students - Burlington, Vermont

The Traveling Door of Mercy: Students Creating the Door

March 9, 2016

Mercy DoorsThe Door of Mercy is a special Holy Door which Pope Francis has asked to be opened in every Diocese during the Extraordinary Holy Year in order to allow the faithful in every part of the world to experience the Mercy of the Father in its fullness. When the Catholic Diocese of Burlington encouraged the schools to create their own Doors of Mercy, the MCS community immediately set about planning its Door.

Because Mater Christi School is sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, the students and teachers are very aware of the Sisters Five Critical Concerns: (1) Earth; (2) Immigration; (3) Nonviolence; (4) Anti-Racism; (5) Women. It seemed fitting to use the idea of Mercy and these critical concerns as the themes for the Door.

Makerspace Director, Ms. Tricia Finkle, suggested that the school create door-sized sections with a total of 16 panels modeled on the 16 panels of the Vatican’s doors. Ms. Finkle and Ms. Hannah Robertson, art teacher, facilitated the creation of the doors with the students with the idea that the panels would resemble stained glass  but would be created using acrylic paint on Plexiglas. Each homeroom designed and created their own unique panels.

Visit the Door of Mercy
The Mater Christi School Mercy Door will be traveling around the community, beginning on Saturday, April 2 at Our Lady of Grace at 784 Main Street in Colchester.

Mercy Door 1DOOR 1: (from top ­left panel, clockwise)

Panel 1: Mostly 7th Grade, The theme is Nonviolence. The love of the world is crushing the tank.

Panel 2: Third Grade. The children voted on a design, and couldn’t decide on the top three designs. They collectively decided to to commission one student to combine the designs, and are very proud of the finished product.

Panel 3: Intermediate: Shares background with other Intermediate designs. The dove of peace flies over the environment of earth. All three intermediate doors (See Panels 9 & 12) share the same background, which is based on the liturgical colors.

Panel 4: 7th Grade worked on background, 8th grade worked on heart, which is the Sacred Heart of Jesus. All mercy comes from Jesus, represented by the water and environment.

Panel 5: Kindergarten. The children heard a story entitled “Each Kindness” in which they learned that it is important to be kind in every interaction. In the story, children learn about kindness by dropping a stone into a bowl of water, and watch the ripples of kindness expand. The heart in the center of the image is the stone from the story, the blue circle is the bowl of kindness, and all the people surrounding it are all the people of the world.

Panel 6: 7th and 8th grade: The image is of our hands, reaching out in mercy to the world.

Panel 7: The first graders received a visit from Sr. Joanne from Mercy Farm, and learned about the Sustainability work the Sisters do there. They learned that the farm produces food for the poor and the sheep raised on the farm produce wool that is spun and knitted into mittens by the

Panel 8: Second graders’ work is on the left wing, second row from top, left side: an angel representing the Sisters of Mercy providing help (clockwise from top left corner of panel) ­ food, shelter, spritual guidance, people (community), clothing, animals (Mercy), peace, and community.

Mercy Door 2DOOR 2: (from top ­left panel, clockwise)

Panel 9: Intermediate classes created this door, which depicts Mary showing us how to take care of the innocent and vulnerable, represented by the lamb. All three intermediate doors (See Panels 3 & 11) share the same background, which is based on the liturgical colors.

Panel 10: Mostly 6th grade design, which depicts all 5 critical concerns of the Sisters of Mercy: Earth, Immigration, Nonviolence, Anti-Racism, and Women.

Panel 11: This panel was a collaboration by 6th and 7th grades. The brick wall, created by the 6th graders, represents a Wall of Possessions, and the wrecking ball is Mercy. The world behind the wall, created by the 7th grade, is all that is possible with mercy.

Panel 12: Intermediate classes created this door depicting the Holy Trinity which exists in harmony with the environment. All three intermediate doors (See Panels 3 & 9) share the same background, which is based on the liturgical colors.

Panel 13: First graders were visited by Sr. Joanne, who taught them about the water bottle initiative, which aims to reduce waste by encouraging use of reusable water bottles. The designs of the water bottles on the top of this panel were based on actual water bottles in the classroom.

Panel 14: This image is a collage created from images created by the Kindergarten class, representing nonviolence.

Panel 15: 7th graders created this panel, in which the different continents are depicted with different colors, representing that love is universal.

Panel 16: Preschoolers worked on this panel in which Jesus comforts and teaches the universal child (who is all of us) and about , forgiveness, sharing is caring, and being kind to animals.