Sacred Heart Cathedral

From the Rector

Gaining Plenary Indulgences

(Adapted from Fr. Edward McNamara, LC)

No. 1471 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains: “An indulgence is 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 action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.” No. 1479 adds, “Since the faithful departed now being purified are also members of the same communion of saints, one way we can help them is to obtain indulgences for them, so that the temporal punishment due for their sins may be remitted.” The decree reminds the faithful that to obtain a plenary indulgence it is necessary to observe the “usual conditions”: Sacramental confession, usually within 20 days before or after obtaining the indulgence. One sacramental confession is sufficient for several indulgences. Eucharistic Communion. Unlike confession, only one indulgence may be obtained for each Communion. Although this Communion may be fulfilled several days before or after obtaining the indulgence, it is preferable that this condition be fulfilled the same day. Thus, those who practice regular confession and daily Mass may obtain a plenary indulgence practically every day. Prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff. Like Communion, prayer for the Pope’s intentions must be recited for the gaining of each plenary indulgence. Although there are no prescribed prayers the condition is satisfied by reciting one Our Father and one Hail Mary. Having the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin. This is the most difficult condition as even attachment to venial sin precludes the possibility of obtaining the indulgence. However, note that the condition is not freedom from all venial sin, but from attachment to sin; that is, that there is no sin which the soul is unwilling to renounce. At least, a general intention of gaining an indulgence beforehand. If, throughout the day, one carries out several practices united to partial indulgences, it suffices to formulate a single general intention. Here are some of the principal concessions of plenary indulgences within reach of most Catholics. (1) Remain in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at least a half-hour. (2) The participation in the Adoration of the Cross, on Good Friday. (3) Spiritual exercises of at least three days. (4) Those who make their first Communion or who assist at another’s first Communion.

 (5) Praying at least five decades of the rosary in a church or chapel, or else in family, a religious community or a pious association. The conditions are that the five decades be prayed without interruption; meditation on the mysteries must be added to the vocal recitation; and in public recitation the mysteries must be announced according to approved local custom.(6) Celebrating or assisting at a priest’s first solemn Mass, or at his 25th, 50th or 60th anniversary Mass. (7) Visiting a church or altar on the day of its dedication and praying an Our Father and a Creed. (8) Renewing one’s baptismal promises during the Easter Vigil or on the anniversary of one’s baptism. (9) Reading sacred Scripture as spiritual re ding with the devotion due to God’s Word for at least a half-hour. (10) Making the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross. This must be done at legitimately erected stations, which require 14 crosses to which other images or statues may be added. (11) “The plenary indulgence at the point of death can be acquired by the faithful, even if they have already obtained another plenary indulgence on the same day.” (Enchiridion of Indulgences)


School is almost here!

As August begins this week we want to remind families of the amazing opportunity of our parish school, Sacred Heart Catholic School. Our school has served the Gallup area since 1912 and we are back this year looking to GROW! Regular office hours resume this week, so please do not hesitate to stop by.

Interested in volunteering to help us? Have a hidden talent? Miss being around little people and enjoying the enthusiasm of youth? Scan the QR code to sign up to share your talents and gifts with us and help us grow! 

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