Grace and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus be with you always!
It was with great joy that we received news from the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI of the Year of Faith which begins on October 11, 2012 and ends November 24, 2013. This year is an opportunity for the faithful to grow in their knowledge of the faith and also in their personal knowledge of our Lord through a continual conversion.
On September 14, 2012, the Apostolic Penitentiary issued a decree which declared how the faithful may obtain indulgences tied to the Year of Faith. In order to receive a Plenary Indulgence which is the full remission of the temporal punishment due to sin for either the person performing the act or for the faithful departed, a person may do one of the following acts:
- Participate in a Mission for at least three preachings; or take part in three lessons on the Sacred Second Vatican Council or the articles of the Catechism;
- Visit a Papal Basilica, a Christian Catacomb, a Cathedral, or another church designated by the Ordinary. At this visit, the faithful are to spend time in private meditation, recite the Creed, recite the Our Father, and call upon the intercession of our Most Blessed Mother.
- On days determined by the diocesan Bishop, recite the Creed at designated churches at a Mass or celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours. In the Diocese of Lake Charles, I have designated all local parishes as the locations. The faithful may attend Mass at these churches on any day which corresponds to a celebration of one of the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. On this occasion, the faithful are to pray the decade of the Rosary which is being celebrated. The designated days are Tuesday, December 25, 2012, the Nativity of our Lord; Sunday, January 13, 2013, the Baptism of our Lord; February 2, 2013, the Presentation of our Lord; Thursday, March 28, 2013, Holy Thursday and the Institution of the Eucharist; Sunday, March 31, 2013, Easter and the Resurrection of our Lord; Monday, April 8, 2013, the Annunciation of our Lord; Sunday, May 12, 2013, the Ascension of our Lord; Sunday, May 19, 2013, Pentecost; Friday, May, 31, 2013, the Visitation of Mary; Tuesday, August 6, 2013, the Transfiguration of our Lord; Thursday, August 15, 2013, the Assumption of our Lady; and Thursday, August 22, 2013, the Queenship of Mary. Pastors should take special care to offer a greater amount of time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation on or near these days.
- On any day, the faithful may visit the Catholic Church of their baptism or reception into the one, true faith. There the faithful are to spend time in personal meditation and profess their faith by the recitation of the Creed.
On these occasions, the faithful properly disposed may receive a Plenary Indulgence. For the proper disposition, the faithful must be in a state of grace (without grave sin), receive sacramental Confession one week prior or after the activity, receive Holy Communion at the Sacrifice of the Mass one week prior or after the activity, and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father and me, the diocesan Bishop.
For those prohibited by grave illness or hospitalization, they may also receive a Plenary Indulgence by, on the days mentioned above, joining themselves in prayer for the intention of an increase of faith.
As we commit ourselves to the Lord and ask Him to increase our faith, let us commit to a deeper conversion constantly. With prayers for you and your families, I remain,
Devotedly in our Lord,
+Glen John Provost
Bishop of Lake Charles
(Read Pope Benedict XVI's opening homily for the Year of Faith at http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/)