We have now received the details of the Plenary Indulgence for the Year of St. Joseph that the Holy Father has granted to the Diocese. Like with the foregoing Marian year, shrines for gaining this indulgence may be designated throughout the diocese by Bishop Baker. The initial list of approved shrines is: St. Joseph Church in Huntsville, St. Joseph Church in Florence, St. Joseph Church in Ensley (Birmingham), the Cathedral of St. Paul, the chapel of St. John Vianney Residence for Retired Priests, the chapel of Our Lady of Joyful Hope Cenacolo Community in Hanceville, and the chapel of Camp Tekakwitha in Springville. Any other church or chapel of the diocese that has a statue or other image of St. Joseph in it may be designated also upon request from the pastor or administrator to Bishop Baker.
To gain the Year of St. Joseph indulgence, the following prayers and works should be done:
• Visit one of the approved shrines and spend a suitable amount of time in prayer before the statue or image of St. Joseph there.
• Conclude by praying an Our Father and an approved Creed (for example, the Apostles’ Creed or Nicene Creed).
• Pray also an invocation to the Holy Family (for example: “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, bless my family”).
• Pray for the Holy Father’s intentions.
• Be detached from all sin, including venial sin.
• Receive Holy Communion in the state of grace within at least 20 days before or after.
• Go to Confession within at least 20 days before or after.
A member of the faithful who goes to daily Mass/communion and at least monthly confession can therefore receive this plenary indulgence up to once a day. (One confession can cover multiple attempts to receive an indulgence.) The decree granting the indulgence also encourages priests to be generous in offering the Sacrament of Reconciliation, so that the faithful may more easily receive the indulgence. St. Joseph, pray for us!