Letter to the Faithful

From The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop | Issued February 22, 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In this Year of Faith, Pope Benedict XVI has given Christ’s faithful the opportunity to obtain a special plenary indulgence. Through the wisdom of age, the Church has come to see that extraordinary acts of faith, in turn, bring about extraordinary grace.  In the Holy Father’s decree Urbis et Orbis he writes,

Throughout the Year of Faith – established from 11 October 2012 to 24 November 2013 – all individual members of the faithful who are truly repentant, have duly received the Sacrament of Penance and Holy Communion and who pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff may receive the Plenary Indulgence in remission of the temporal punishment for their sins, imparted through God’s mercy and applicable in suffrage to the souls of the deceased.

Since the primary objective is to develop sanctity of life to the highest degree possible on this earth, and thus to attain the most sublime level of pureness of soul, immense benefit may be derived from the great gift of Indulgence which, by virtue of the power conferred upon her by Christ, the Church offers to everyone who, following the due norms, undertakes the special prescripts to obtain them.”

As your Archbishop, and in accord with the attached decree issued by the Apostolic Penitentiary, I have designated eight churches, dispersed throughout the Archdiocese, where you may make a pilgrimage to obtain the plenary indulgence after having also received the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion, and having prayed for the intentions of the Holy Father. With the advice of the auxiliary bishops, I have designated the following places of pilgrimage:

  • Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament
  • St. Anne Church in Detroit
  • St. Anne Church in Monroe
  • St. Anne Church in Ortonville
  • St. Anne Church in Warren
  • Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Plymouth
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Emmett
  • Shrine Chapel of Our Lady of Orchard Lake (on the campus of Orchard Lake Schools)

The option of obtaining the plenary indulgence through visiting these pilgrimage sites is in addition to other opportunities set forth in Holy Father’s aforementioned decree, notably:

  • every time the Catholic Faithful take part in at least three sermons preached, or attend at least three lectures on the Proceedings of the Second Vatican Council and on the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in any church or suitable place (with the required conditions);
  • every time they go as pilgrims to a Papal Basilica, a Christian catacomb, a cathedral church, a sacred place designated by the local Ordinary for the Year of Faith […], and take part there in some sacred function or at least pause in recollection for a suitable length of time with devout meditation, concluding with the recitation of the Our Father, the Profession of Faith in any legitimate form, invocations to the Blessed Virgin Mary or, depending on the case, to the Holy Apostles or Patrons (with the required conditions);
  • a day freely chosen during the Year of Faith on which to make a devout visit to the baptistery or other place in which they received the sacrament of Baptism, if they renew their baptismal promises in any legitimate form (with the required conditions).

The clergy and staff of the churches of pilgrimage, as well as our Archdiocesan webpage on the Year of Faith (www.aod.org/yearoffaith), will provide additional resources for you.

As the Church celebrates the life and pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI and eagerly awaits the Holy Spirit’s intervention in choosing his successor, I ask that in your pilgrimages, you might pray for the entire College of Bishops, that in this Year of Faith we may be renewed and strengthened in our responsibility to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the world that so longs for him.

Through the intercession of our Blessed Mother and Saint Anne,
I pray that our Lord may increase in you his gift of faith, as I remain

Sincerely yours in Christ,

The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit