In 2013, Pope Francis declared that the worldwide Church will celebrate a Year of Consecrated Life, starting on the First Sunday of Advent, November 30, 2014, and ending on the World Day of Consecrated Life, February 2, 2016. This year has been set aside by the Pope as a time of renewal for those who have publicly professed to live a life totally dedicated to God. The Year of Consecrated Life also gives all of us an opportunity to remember the many sisters, brothers, priests, and lay persons who have touched our own lives through their example of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Finally, the Year calls all people of faith to look to the future with greater hope so that the way we live will “wake up the world!” (Pope Francis).
As part of the Year, the Pope also announced that the faithful may receive plenary indulgences at certain times during the observance of the year at places in Rome and in all dioceses throughout the world. These indulgences may be received by any of the faithful under the conditions that they are moved by a spirit of charity to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance, participate in the Eucharist, and unite their prayers to the intentions of the Holy Father. (Click here to learn more about how to explain our teaching on indulgences.)
To honor the spirit of renewal, joy, and hope that are the hallmarks of this Year, Bishop McGrath has made the following decree, specifying locations, dates, and conditions where members of the faithful may obtain the grace of this special gift of the Church through their devotion and spirit of penitence during the Year of Consecrated Life. (click for link to the official decree as a PDF file)
Plenary Indulgences for the Year of Consecrated Life
The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has established a Year of Consecrated Life, from the First Sunday of Advent, November 30, 2014, until the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, February 2, 2016. During the Year of Consecrated Life, the Holy Father has conceded the gift of a Plenary Indulgence (under the usual conditions of sacramental Confession, Eucharistic communion, and prayer for the intentions of the Pope) to all members of institutes of consecrated life and other truly repentant faithful. The indulgence may be applied to the souls in Purgatory.
Within the Diocese of San Jose, the indulgence may be obtained by visiting the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Joseph in San Jose, the Immaculate Heart Monastery of Poor Clares in Los Altos Hills, the Carmelite Monastery of the Infant Jesus in Santa Clara, and Mount Saint Joseph Carmelite Monastery in San Jose.
There, the faithful join in the public celebration of the Eucharist or the Liturgy of the Hours, or spend a suitable period of time in devout reflection and prayer, concluding with the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ or Nicene Creed, and an invocation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, such as the Hail Mary.
The plenary indulgence may be obtained on these following dates in the Diocese of San Jose:
- All First Fridays during the Year of Consecrated Life
- The days of the Easter Triduum (April 2-5, 2015)
- April 11, 2015 (Saturday within the Octave of Easter)
- February 2, 2016 (World Day of Consecrated Life and the end of the Year of Consecrated Life)