Archbishop José H. Gomez has designated ten parishes in the
Archdiocese of Los Angeles as pilgrimage sites during the Year of Faith. Pilgrims visiting these sites this year may receive a
“plenary indulgence for the temporal punishment of sin” for themselves and for deceased
According to guidelines issued by the Vatican, to obtain the
indulgences, pilgrims must be truly sorry for their sins, go to Confession and
receive the Eucharist, and pray for the Pope’s intentions.
Archbishop Gomez said:
The Church’s ancient practice of
granting indulgences is a beautiful sign of God’s love and mercy and the
Church’s ministry of reconciliation.
Jesus Christ gave his Catholic Church
the power to forgive sins in his name. But we realize that even though our
Heavenly Father forgives our sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we
still need to be healed from the wounds that our sins cause in us and purified
of their effects in our lives.
Usually this process of purification
and healing takes place either here on earth — when we bear our trials and
sufferings patiently with faith — or after death, in the state of Purgatory.
By granting a “plenary indulgence,” the
Church frees us from the burdens of our past failings so that through our love
we can grow closer to Jesus.
So this opportunity to receive a
plenary indulgence is a beautiful gift that our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI
has given us in this Year of Faith.
By making a pilgrimage to these
selected churches — which are located in each of our five pastoral regions — we
will be making a little act of faith and love and expressing our desire to grow
in holiness. And in response, we will receive this great gift of God’s tender
mercies and love.
The Apostolic Penitentiary Decree (Year of Faith)
At the Pope’s request, the Vatican’s Apostolic Penitentiary
has issued a decree
that outlines the conditions for which Catholics may obtain a plenary
indulgence during the Year of Faith.
According to the decree, Catholics who are “truly repentant,
have duly received the Sacrament of Penance and Holy Communion and who pray for
the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff,” may receive the Plenary
Indulgence every time they go as pilgrims to these designated churches “and
take part there in some sacred function or at least pause in recollection for a
suitable length of time with devout meditation, concluding with the recitation
of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form,
invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary or, depending on the case, to the Holy
Apostles or Patrons.”
Resources & Pilgrimage Sites: