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Still time for archdiocese Catholics to gain indulgence

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Staff Report 

Although the Year of Faith will draw to a close on Nov. 24, the feast of Christ the King, faithful Catholics in the  Archdiocese of Cincinnati still have the opportunity to receive a special plenary indulgence (a gift of grace from God), by visiting churches/holy sites designated by Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr.

They are: the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains (Cincinnati), St. Helen Church (Dayton), Holy Angels Church (Sidney), and the Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics (Maria Stein).

Pope Benedict XVI announced a plenary indulgence during the Year of Faith, which began Oct. 11, 2012, to those faithful who follow the due norms and undertake the special prescripts to obtain them.

What is a plenary indulgence?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that, “An indulgence is obtained through the church, who, by virtue of the power of binding and loosing granted her by Christ Jesus, intervenes in favor of individual Christians and opens for them the treasury of the merits of Christ and the saints to obtain from the Father of mercies the remission of the temporal punishments due for their sins. Thus the church does not want simply to come to the aid of these Christians, but also to spur them to works of devotion, penance, and charity (1478).” It goes on to state that the faithful may obtain indulgences for the faithful departed so that the, “temporal punishments due for their sins may be remitted (1479).”

What are the due norms and special prescripts?
During the Year of Faith, plenary indulgence “may be obtained by all faithful who, truly penitent, take sacramental confession and the Eucharist and pray in accordance with the intentions of the supreme pontiff.”

“(A) Each time they attend at least three sermons during the holy missions, or at least three lessons on the Acts of the Council or the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, church or any other suitable location.”

“(B) Each time they visit, in the course of a pilgrimage to a papal basilica, a Christian catacomb, a cathedral church or a holy site designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith…and there participate in a sacred celebration, or at least remain for a congruous period of time in prayer and pious meditation, concluding with the recitation of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, and invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary and, depending on the circumstances, to the Holy Apostles and patron saints.”

Archbishop Schnurr designated the following days: First Friday/First Saturday of every month; the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood (June 2); the archdiocesan patronal feast days: St. Francis de Sales (Jan.24),) St. Robert Bellarmine, (Sept. 17), St. Albert the Great (Nov. 15); and the archdiocesan celebrations of the Year of Faith (Sept. 29, at the Cintas Center, and Oct. 6, at the University of Dayton Arena,  at 7 p.m.).

“(D) On any day they choose, during the Year of Faith, if they make a pious visit to the baptistery, or other place in which they received the Sacrament of Baptism, and there renew their baptismal promises in any legitimate form.”

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