A Message From Fr. Pat...
To my dear St. John Neumann Parish family:
This weekend, we welcome Fr. Joseph Gibino to lead our annual Forty Hours Devotion. Beginning this Sunday (tonight) at 7pm, we will have continuous Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until the benediction liturgy that begins at 7pm on Tuesday night. Day and night you and members of our parish family will spend time in the presence of the Eucharist, praying not only for ourselves but for the needs of our brothers and sisters throughout the world. What a blessed opportunity we are given to sit in worship and awe of God Himself!
You may not know that this Forty Hours Devotion also offers a special opportunity for a plenary indulgence. So, first—what is an indulgence? According the Catechism, “an indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven…” when a person fulfills the conditions prescribed. When a sin is forgiven in confession, it is completely forgiven, but, in justice, we still need to make some restitution for that sin. We can do that in many ways—penance, prayer, good works, or, after we die, time in purgatory. When we die, all of us still have sins that have been forgiven but for restitution is still due. So, we spend time in purgatory until our souls are purified.
An indulgence fulfills that obligation for us, either fully or partially. Partial indulgences can be obtained for a variety of pious acts, including recitation of prayers throughout the day, works of compassionate service to those in need, voluntary fasting or abstinence, or outwardly witnessing to your faith before others. These good things “make up” for our sins, and reduce the time we will spend in purgatory.
A plenary indulgence removes ALL the punishment due for sin up until the time the indulgence is received. A plenary indulgence is obtained by performing the required act while also fulfilling the following conditions: 1) receiving Holy Communion as soon as possible; 2) going to Confession a few days before or after the required act; 3) praying for the intentions of the Holy Father; and 4) being free from all attachment to sin, even venial sin. So, if you died right after meeting all the requirements for a plenary indulgence, you would go straight to heaven (Hint: You want these!! This is good!)
So, here’s the good news. If, during Forty Hours Devotion, you go to Mass this weekend, to go confession either this week or next week, spend at least one half hour in Adoration, pray for Pope Francis’ intentions, and resolve to be free from all sin, all your time in purgatory that you owe UP UNTIL NOW is erased. Or, if you’re feeling generous, you can OFFER UP your plenary indulgence for someone in purgatory, so they get to heaven with your help.
Bottom line…take advantage of 40 Hours Devotion this week…for your good and for the good of the souls in purgatory! See you there!
P.S. For more information on indulgences, check out