St Simon's Parish Blog

Welcome to the Blog of St Simon Stock Catholic Church, South Ashford, Kent, UK. Our address is: Brookfield Road Ashford Kent TN23 4EU

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For nine years up till July 2010, I was parish priest at St Simon Stock Catholic Church, South Ashford, Kent, England. From July 2010 until June 2011 I was Associate Pastor at St Peter's Cathedral, Marquette, Michigan USA and then Pastor at St Anthony Parish, Gwinn, MI until October 2013. I then transferred to the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon to serve as Director of the Tribunal. And that's what I am currently doing. Since February 2015 I have also been serving as Pastor at St Stephen Parish, South East Portland. I miss "da UP" (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) but love being here in the Pacific North West.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What is a Plenary Indulgence?

Next Sunday, 25th January, anyone who attends the 10.00am Mass for the Conversion of St Paul may, if properly disposed, gain a plenary indulgence. What is a plenary indulgence?

“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. As the minister of redemption, the Church dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints. The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church. n. 1471)

Every sin entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures which must be purified either here on earth or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification and conversion can be carried out on earth by prayer, penance, works of charity, bearing the sufferings and trials of life with patience, etc… It frees us from what is called the ‘temporal punishment’ due to sin, the time of purification in Purgatory after death.

To encourage us to carry out certain acts of piety, the Church grants us the possibility of gaining indulgences. By performing the prescribed act, provided we are properly disposed, we can gain a partial or full remission of this temporal punishment.

So, on the 25th January, by attending the 10.00am Mass, if we are truly detached and repentant of sin, purified by the Sacrament of Penance (by going to confession on or around that day), restored by Holy Communion and pray for the intention of the Holy Father, we can gain a full (plenary) remission from the purification we would need to do in purgatory. The indulgence may be obtained for our own personal benefit or we may gain it for those who have died.

Those who are unable to attend this Mass or other special liturgy for the Year of St Paul through illness or some other serious cause may gain the indulgence by joining spiritually, offering their prayers and sufferings to God.



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