The Archdiocese of Quebec is celebrating its 350th anniversary with a jubilee year of celebrations beginning Dec. 8, 2023, to Dec. 8, 2024, starting with an opening Mass at the country’s historic Notre-Dame-de-Québec Cathedral Basilica.

The archdiocese, the first Catholic diocese in Canada with a founding that dates back to 1674, has designated the year a jubilee, which is a holy year of recollection, repentance, indulgence, conversion, and grace. 

The global Church will be entering a jubilee year in 2025. 

On Dec. 8, a festival with music and different activities will take place after Mass and, at 7 p.m. local time, the Holy Door in the cathedral’s Chapel of the Sacred Heart will be opened for pilgrims to pass through during the whole year.

A Holy Door, which is a real door typically opened during jubilees, is for pilgrims to pass through as a symbol of the path to conversion and blessings for the individual.

In its September press release, the archdiocese also announced that a “Compostelle-style pilgrimage” will take place to the Holy Door from July to October 2024.

Compostelle is a reference to the Camino de Santiago, also known as “The Way of St. James.” The Spanish pilgrimage trek is a 1,000-year-old route through Spain that leads to the Cathedral of Santiago located in the Archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. The cathedral is traditionally held to be the burial place of St. James the Apostle.

The Quebec Archdiocese said the route for its pilgrimage will be from La Malbaie, a municipality in Southeastern Quebec, to the Holy Door, passing through the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré shrine. The route is about 86 miles on foot along the St. Lawrence River.

Pilgrims will also be offered an opportunity to visit historic landmarks in Old Quebec, a historic neighborhood of Quebec City surrounded by a defensive fortress built centuries ago and is included on the United Nations’ World Heritage List.

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Some of those landmarks include the cathedral, the François-de-Laval Animation Centre, the Marie-de-l’Incarnation Centre, the Jesuits’ Chapel, and the Catherine-de-Saint-Augustin Centre.

Next summer, pilgrims will be offered a guided tour of “rarely accessible sites” including the crypt of the cathedral, the historic Séminaire de Québec, and the archbishop’s palace.

Also coming in summer 2024 will be a “must see” special exhibition hosted by the Musée de la Civilisation, which is located right next to the cathedral, the archdiocese said. The museum has a special focus on preservation of the culture of Quebec.

An event for families at the cathedral will be offered in September 2024, which includes a “lively artistic itinerary” and will take place Sept. 20–22.

During the event, families will have the opportunity to visit religious landmarks and attend festivities at the Place D’Youville, a historic outdoor venue for different celebrations. During the festivities the French faith-based music group Glorious will be performing at the concert hall Le Capitole.

Several other concerts, conferences, and events will be hosted around the archdiocese throughout the year, and “historical publications are also in the pipeline,” the archdiocese said.