Dear FLOCK families,
As we walk together prayerfully through troubling days, I would like to share with you some recent guidance and reflection from our Church to help us through these times (click on the links to explore further):
(Women have been provisionally allowed to serve at the altar and lector for decades, but this changes makes official in Church Law and its language the right and privilege of all laity, including women, to serve the Church at Mass).
An indulgence is not a quick ticket to heaven, as St. John Paul II once said; rather, it is an aid for the real conversion that leads to eternal happiness.
+ + + The Year of St. Joseph + + +
December 8, 2020 through December 8, 2021
The Decree states that Pope Francis established a “Year of St. Joseph” so that “every member of the faithful, following his example, may strengthen their life of faith daily in the complete fulfillment of God’s will.” The Decree adds that the Pope has granted special Indulgences to mark the year. The December 8, 2020 Decree was issued by the Apostolic Penitentiary, which is the dicastery of the Roman Curia that oversees the practice of Indulgences.
In addition to the Decree, Pope Francis also issued an Apostolic Letter on December 8, 2020 dedicated to the Foster Father of Jesus Christ. The Pope explained in the Letter, titled Patris corde (“With a father’s heart”) that he wanted to share some “personal reflections” on the holy and just Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Holy Father said, “My desire to do so increased during these months of (the) pandemic,” noting that many people had made hidden sacrifices during the crisis in order to protect others (just as St. Joseph did with the Holy Family). Each of us can discover in Joseph–the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence–an intercessor, a support, and a guide in times of trouble,” he wrote. “St. Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation.”
In its Decree, the Apostolic Penitentiary said that, “to reaffirm the universality of St. Joseph’s patronage in the Church,” it would grant a Plenary Indulgence to Catholics who recite any approved prayer or act of piety in honor of St. Joseph, especially on March 19, the Saint’s solemnity as “Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” and on May 1, the Memorial of “St. Joseph the Worker.”
Other notable days for the Plenary Indulgence are the “Feast of the Holy Family” on December 27 and “St. Joseph’s Sunday” in the Byzantine tradition, as well as the 19th of each month during the Year and every Wednesday throughout the year, which is a day traditionally dedicated to the memory of St. Joseph in the Latin Church.
All Saints Church is HERE for you! If your family has a special need, prayer request, or if there is any way that we can support your family, please call or email me any time!
Emily Mulvey, Director of Faith Formation