As this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy winds down (it ends Nov. 20), we reflect on the efforts of Pope Francis to inspire the world to be more merciful. His vision played out globally, of course, but also within our own diocese. The efforts of the Office of Parish Faith Formation, the Office of Life, Justice and Peace, and so many other ministries that operate from the Pastoral Center on the campus of Christ Cathedral were realized. From the Stations of Mercy created on the campus to the special Year of Mercy microsite that was created to help us understand and embrace the mission of mercy, we were provided with so many tools and resources to make the most of this special year.
To me, among the most extraordinary gifts of this Jubilee Year is the special plenary indulgence available to us. If you haven’t been to confession in a while, now is the time to make time. Why?
If you follow the protocol of this Jubilee Year of Mercy Plenary Indulgence, you have the rare opportunity to purify your soul. You may obtain “complete remission of all temporal punishment due to sin.” It is a chance to be purified even beyond reconciliation.
I visited Monsignor Doug Cook, rector at Holy Family Cathedral in Orange, to better understand. According to Msgr. Cook, the plenary indulgence “takes care of all past sins of a person’s life.” It goes beyond the graces received during reconciliation.
One of the requirements for this special indulgence is that you pass through a Holy Door. Previously, that required a trip to Rome. This Jubilee year, however, because Pope Francis wanted as many as possible to receive the indulgence, the entrance to each cathedral throughout the world and certain shrines are deemed and blessed as Holy Doors. In the Diocese of Orange, the two Holy Doors designated are located at Holy Family Cathedral in Orange and Mission Basilica in San Juan Capistrano.
The requirements to receive the indulgence are listed here:
- Walk through one of the Holy Doors designated in the area
- Recite the Creed
- Go to confession and receive Holy Communion (within 20 days of each)
- Say the Our Father and the Hail Mary, offering them for the intentions of the Holy Father
- Finally, make a commitment to strive to live a life without sin– what theologians call a “detachment from sin.”
What concerns me is that I haven’t heard more people talking about this. Not only can you purify your own soul, you may do so for a departed loved one.
Why aren’t the cathedrals full and the confessionals overflowing?