Year of Mercy


IMG_0281On December 20, 2015 the Very Rev. Daniel L. Schomaker, V.G. representing Bishop Roger J. Foys, opened the Holy Doors of Mercy at St. John Church.  The doors will remain open until November 13, 2016 as Holy Doors of Mercy  for the Diocese of Covington.

Holy Doors have opened all over the world beginning Dec. 8, 2015 when Pope Francis opened the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome.  On Dec. 13, 2015 Pope Francis  opened the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. Mary Major and, on the same day, Pope Francis instructed that every bishop around the world open a Holy Door of Mercy.

In the Diocese of Covington, Dec 13, 2015 at 3 p.m. Bishop Roger J. Foys opened the Holy Door of Mercy at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington. Then on Dec. 20, 2015 at 3 p.m. Holy Doors of Mercy was opened at three additional churches – Divine Mercy Parish, Bellevue; St. John Parish, Carrollton; and St. Patrick Parish, Maysville.

During the jubilee year these four churches became jubilee churches.  Those who make a pilgrimage to one of these jubilee churches, make a confession,  celebrate the holy Eucharist with a reflection on mercy, make a profession of faith, pray for Pope Francis and his intentions, and pass through one of the designated Holy Doors of Mercy will be able to obtain a special indulgence.

Plenary indulgences explained

Like all previous Jubilees, the Jubilee Year of Mercy features a very special plenary indulgence (the complete remission of all temporal punishment due to sin).

Temporal punishment – Two punishments are due to actual sins: one, called the eternal, is inflicted in hell; and the other, called the temporal, is inflicted in this world or in purgatory. The Sacrament of reconciliation (confession) remits or frees us from the eternal punishment and generally only from part of the temporal. Prayer, good works and indulgences in this world and the sufferings of purgatory in the next remit the remainder of the temporal punishment. So by receiving this plenary indulgence all the temporal punishment earned but not paid up to the date of your indulgence is forgiven.

Pope Francis is seeking to make the indulgence as widely available as possible. In the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, a Holy Door is to be opened in every cathedral around the world. In the Covington Diocese in addition to the Cathedral, there have been three additional parishes that have had their door blessed for this Holy Year of Mercy. Divine Mercy (Bellevue), St Patrick (Maysville) and our own parish St. John Evangelist (Carrollton). To receive the Jubilee Year indulgence, you must fulfill the usual conditions, (specified below) and perform the indulgenced act: passing through a designated Holy Door during the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy (between Dec. 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and Nov. 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Christ the King) or performing one of the corporal or spiritual works of mercy. As for the sick and the elderly, the Holy Father says, “For them it will be of great help to live their sickness and suffering as an experience of closeness to the Lord who in the mystery of his Passion, death and Resurrection indicates the royal road which gives meaning to pain and loneliness. Living with faith and joyful hope this moment of trial, receiving communion or attending Holy Mass and community prayer, even though the various means of communication, will be for them the means of obtaining the Jubilee Indulgence.” For the imprisoned, the Holy Father says, “They may obtain the Indulgence in the chapels of the prisons. May the gesture of directing their thought and prayer to the Father each time they cross the threshold of their cell signify for them their passage through the Holy Door, because the mercy of God is able to transform hearts, and is also able to transform bars into an experience of freedom.”

You may receive the plenary indulgence yourself, or offer it for a person in purgatory.

To receive a plenary indulgence –To refresh everyone’s memories, here are the normal conditions for receiving a plenary indulgence:

  • It is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.
  • A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:
  1.  Have sacramentally confessed their sins (and have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin).
  2. Receive the Holy Eucharist (it is certainly better to receive it while participating in Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required).
  3. Pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff (Pope Francis).
  • It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope’s intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed. Prayer for the Pope’s intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an Our Father and a Hail Mary are suggested. One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions are required for each plenary indulgence.
  • For the sake of those legitimately impeded, confessors can commute both the work prescribed and the conditions required (except, obviously, detachment from even venial sin).
  • Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.

If after reading this you are still not clear or have any questions, please contact Fr. Allan Frederick –Pastor –

St John Evangelist and Transfiguration Church or any other Priest you may know.