Epiphany Parish Vision:
"to offer everyone in our community a life-changing encounter with Jesus."
A Year of Mercy
Holy Year of Mercy
December 8, 2015 - November 20, 2016
"Dear brothers and sisters, I have often thought of how the Church may render more clear her mission to be a witness to mercy; and we have to make this journey. It is a journey which begins with spiritual conversion. Therefore, I have decided to announce an Extraordinary Jubilee which has at its centre the mercy of God. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy. We want to live in the light of the word of the Lord: 'Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful' (cf. Lk 6:36). And this especially applies to confessors! So much mercy!
This Holy Year will commence on the next Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and will conclude on Sunday, 20 November 2016, the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe and living face of the Father's mercy. I entrust the organization of this Jubilee to the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, in order that it may come to life as a new step on the Church’s journey in her mission to bring the Gospel of mercy to each person.
I am confident that the whole Church, which is in such need of mercy for we are sinners, will be able to find in this Jubilee the joy of rediscovering and rendering fruitful God’s mercy, with which we are all called to give comfort to every man and every woman of our time. Do not forget that God forgives all, and God forgives always. Let us never tire of asking forgiveness. Let us henceforth entrust this Year to the Mother of Mercy, that she turn her gaze upon us and watch over our journey: our penitential journey, our year-long journey with an open heart, to receive the indulgence of God, to receive the mercy of God."
~ Pope Francis
Obtaining a Plenary Indulgence during the Holy Year of Mercy
What is a plenary indulgence?
An indulgence is the remission in the eyes of God of the temporal punishment due to sins, the guilt of which has been absolved through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Christian faithful who are rightly disposed and observe the definite, prescribed conditions gain this remission through the effective assistance of the Church. A plenary indulgence frees a person from all of the temporal punishment due to sins and may be gained only once on any one day. Indulgences are only applicable to oneself and to the dead.
How can one obtain a plenary indulgence during the Holy Year of Mercy?
By having the intention of acquiring the indulgence, going to confession (before or after the visit), receiving Holy Communion, making a profession of faith, praying for the Holy Father and for the intentions that he bears in his heart for the good of the Church and of the entire world while doing any of the following:
- The faithful by visiting one of the Diocesan Pilgrimage churches;
- The sick and people who are elderly and alone by receiving Holy Communion or attending Holy Mass and community prayer (even through the various means of communication);
- Those who are incarcerated by visiting the chapel in the prison;
- The faithful by personally performing one or more of the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy.
- The faithful by remembering the deceased at Holy Mass and praying that they be freed from every remnant of fault and thus be embraced by God in the blessedness of life eternal.
Spiritual Works of Mercy
- Admonish the sinner.
- Instruct the ignorant.
- Counsel the doubtful.
- Comfort the sorrowful.
- Bear wrongs patiently.
- Forgive all injuries.
- Pray for the living and dead.
Corporal Works of Mercy
- Feed the hungry.
- Give drink to the thirsty.
- Clothe the naked.
- Shelter the homeless.
- Visit the sick.
- Visit the imprisoned.
- Bury the dead.
“I have asked the Church in this Jubilee Year to rediscover the richness encompassed by the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. The experience of mercy, indeed, becomes visible in the witness of concrete signs as Jesus himself taught us. Each time that one of the faithful personally performs one or more of these actions, he or she shall surely obtain the Jubilee Indulgence. Hence the commitment to live by mercy so as to obtain the grace of complete and exhaustive forgiveness by the power of love of the Father who excludes no one. The Jubilee Indulgence is thus full, the fruit of the very event which is to be celebrated and experienced with faith, hope and charity.”
Pope Francis Sept. 1, 2015
“As we can see in Sacred Scripture, mercy is a key word that indicates God’s action towards us. He does not limit himself merely to affirming his love, but makes it visible and tangible. Love, after all, can never be just and abstraction. By its very nature, it indicates something concrete: intentions, attitudes, and behaviors that are shown in daily living. The mercy of God is his loving concern for each one of us. He feels responsible; that is, he desires our wellbeing and he wants to see us happy, full of joy, and peaceful. This is the path which the merciful love of Christians must also travel. As the Father loves, so do his children. Just as he is merciful, so we are called to be merciful to each other.”
Pope Francis The Face of Mercy #9
Learn more about this on the Diocese of Peoria page for the Year of Mercy.