October 3, 2012 // Uncategorized

Letter to the faithful regarding The Year of Faith

September 7, 2012

Dear Friends in Christ,

On October 11th, the Catholic Church throughout the world will begin the observance of The Year of Faith.  This special year is a blessed opportunity to profess, rediscover, and celebrate the truth, beauty, and power of our Catholic faith.

All are cordially invited to the Mass opening the Year of Faith in our diocese on October 11th at 5:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne.

We have printed and distributed to parishes throughout our diocese prayer cards containing the Apostles’ Creed on one side and the Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love on the other.  I invite all the faithful of our diocese to pray the Apostles’ Creed daily during the Year of Faith, from October 11th, 2012, to November 24th, 2013.  I invite families to recite this Creed together at mealtimes or another convenient time each day.  I ask all Catholic school and religious education teachers to pray it with their classes.  Let us profess our faith, the faith of the Apostles, with renewed fervor and with attention to the principal truths we embrace as Christians.

“To say the Creed with faith is to enter into communion with God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and also with the whole Church which transmits the faith to us and in whose midst we believe” (ccc #197)

I entrust this time of grace in our diocese to our patroness, Mary Immaculate, our pillar of faith.  She accompanies us on our pilgrimage of faith and keeps us strong and steadfast in our faith in her Divine Son.  May the Blessed Virgin Mary intercede for us during this Year of Faith.

Yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades
Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend


Plenary Indulgence to be offered at the Opening Mass for the Year of Faith

FORT WAYNE — A special papal blessing will be given by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades on Oct. 11 in Fort Wayne’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, at the conclusion of the Holy Mass to open the Year of Faith in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

This papal blessing, which a diocesan bishop is permitted to bestow in the name of the Holy Father on three solemn occasions each year, carries with it a plenary indulgence for all those who meet the usual conditions (listed below).

An indulgence is defined by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (No. 1471) as “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 which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.”

Through indulgences, the infinite merits of Christ, as well as the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints, are applied to our purification in this life or in the life to come (in purgatory).

A plenary indulgence removes all of the temporal punishment due to sins, and may be applied to oneself or to the souls of the deceased.

The conditions for obtaining a plenary indulgence are:

1.) Being truly repentant and receiving sacramental absolution in the Sacrament of Penance

2.) Reception of Holy Communion

3.) Praying for the Holy Father’s intentions.

4.) Total detachment from any inclination to sin, even venial sins.

The first three actions may be fulfilled within 20 days before or after the offering of the indulgence. However, it is most appropriate if they are all done on the same day the indulgence is offered.

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