What is the Jubilee Year of Mercy?
Pope Francis has announced an extraordinary holy year focused on the mercy of God. This Jubilee Year of Mercy began on December 8, 2015 – the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception - and will conclude on November 20, 2016 – the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. It is the firm hope of our Holy Father that we who are sinners will be able to rediscover the joy of experiencing God’s mercy, especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
What can I do to more fully participate in the Jubilee Year?
- Learn and Practice the Corporal Works of Mercy
- Learn and Practice the Spiritual Works of Mercy
- Plan on going to confession more frequently. Parishes in the Diocese of Spokane have been encouraged to offer additional opportunities for the Sacrament of Penance throughout the Jubilee Year. Consult your parish schedule.
- Make a pilgrimage to one of the Holy Door of Mercy, either at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes or St. Patrick Parish in Pasco, and pass through the Holy Door to gain the Jubilee indulgence.
What is the significance of the Holy Door in our diocese?
For some months now, the main entrance to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes has been closed. On Sunday, December 13 Bishop Daly unsealed the entrance and solemnly opened the Holy Door as we began the Jubilee Year. Bishop Daly will formally open another Holy Door of Mercy at St. Patrick Parish in Pasco on Saturday, February 13.
Pope Francis stated that the Holy Door in each diocese is a "sign of communion for the whole Church," and expressed his desire that "anyone who walks through the Holy Door will experience the love of God, who consoles, pardons, and instills hope."
Parishioners throughout the diocese are encouraged to make a pilgrimage, either to the Cathedral or to St. Patrick Parish in Pasco, and pass through the Holy Door this coming year. Passing through the Holy Door in either Jubilee Church is one of the requirements of obtaining the Jubilee Year indulgence.
What is the Jubilee Year Indulgence?
Pope Francis is seeking to make this indulgence as widely available as possible so as to allow people to have a genuine experience of God’s great mercy. It is God our loving Father who welcomes and forgives, forgetting completely the sin committed.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#1471) defines an indulgence as "a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the actions of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints." The purpose of an indulgence is to make reparation for the undesirable consequences (In simple terms, this means that the natural consequence of a sin is forgiven. Through an indulgence, God grants the prayer of the Church that the temporal penalty for sin incurred by a person be reduced or completely eliminated.
How do I receive the Jubilee Indulgence?
To receive the Jubilee Year indulgence, one must enter through the designated Holy Door at the Cathedral at some time during the Holy Year. In addition, the usual conditions for an indulgence are required. A person must: Sacramentally confess his/her sins and be in the state of grace at the time of passing through the Holy Door.
Have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin. This may seem impossible but there are indeed times in our lives when we are moved by the love of God and sorrow for sin that we reject sin and that which moves us to sin. That doesn’t mean we, by force of our own will, choose to never sin again. We must have the help of God’s grace because we do remain frail and weak.
Receive the Holy Eucharist.
Pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff (praying an Our Father and a Hail Mary).
It is appropriate (but not necessary) that the sacramental Confession, reception of Holy Communion, and the prayer for the Pope's intentions take place on the same day that one enters through the Holy Door. These could be carried out within a few days before or after making the Jubilee pilgrimage through the Holy Door.
Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased.
What are Missionaries of Mercy?
On Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis will send forth
Missionaries of Mercy
from St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. The Holy Father describes them this way:
"...They will be a sign of the Church’s maternal solicitude for the People of God, enabling them to enter the profound richness of this mystery so fundamental to the faith. There will be priests to whom I will grant the authority to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See, so that the breadth of their mandate as confessors will be even clearer. They will be, above all, living signs of the Father’s readiness to welcome those in search of his pardon. They will be missionaries of mercy because they will be facilitators of a truly human encounter, a source of liberation, rich with responsibility for overcoming obstacles and taking up the new life of Baptism again. They will be led in their mission by the words of the Apostle: “For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all” (Rom 11:32)..." (MV, 18)
There are exactly 1,071 Missionaries of Mercy chosen from among all the priests in the world. Of those, approximately 100 are from the United States. Two priests of the Diocese of Spokane have been chosen for the honor of this mission: Msgr. Robert Pearson and Fr. Daniel Barnett.
The Holy Father reminds us , "Everyone, in fact, without exception, is called to embrace the call to mercy" (MV, 18). In particular, every priest shares in the ministry of reconciliation . The Missionaries of Mercy will be available to help organize and preside at penitential celebrations, to preach missions, and above all, to hear confessions.