Pope Benedict XVI has authorized a plenary indulgence to the faithful during the Year of Faith (Oct. 11, 2012 to Nov. 24, 2013 ) when they are truly repentant, duly confessed, communing sacramentally with, and pray according to the intentions of the Holy Father.
An indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment a person is due for sins that have been forgiven. To receive the indulgence Catholics must do the following:
1. Attend at least three sermons during a parish mission, or at least three lessons on the Acts of the Council or articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in church or any other suitable location.
2. Visit, on pilgrimage, a papal basilica, a Christian catacomb, a cathedral or holy site designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith, and participate in a sacred celebration, or at least remain for a time in prayer and pious meditation, concluding with the prescribed prayers.
Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone of the Diocese of Charleston has designated the following locations as sacred places suitable for pilgrimage: the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist; the Shrine of Our Lady of South Carolina – Our Lady of Joyful Hope in Kingstree; the Monastery of St. Clare in Traveler’s Rest; or Mepkin Abbey to visit the sacred gardens of Our Lady, or take a tour of the abbey which are offered Tuesday through Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and at 3 p.m., or Sunday Mass at 10 a.m., or a daily 7:30 a.m. Mass in the abbey chapel.
3. On days designated by the local ordinary for the Year of Faith, in any sacred place, participate in a solemn celebration of the Eucharist or the Liturgy of the Hours, adding the Profession of Faith in legitimate form.
Bishop Guglielmone has set aside the following solemnities and feast days on which the faithful may participate in a solemn celebration of the Eucharist or the Liturgy of the Hours: Nativity of the Lord, Dec. 24-25; Epiphany of the Lord, Jan. 6; Chair of St. Peter, Feb. 22; Easter Vigil, March 30; Easter Sunday, March 31; Annunciation of the Lord, April 8; Ascension of the Lord, May 12; Corpus Christi, June 2; Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, June 7; Nativity of St. John the Baptist, June 24; Assumption of Mary, Aug. 15; Christ the King of the Universe, Nov. 24.
4. On any day they choose, during the Year of Faith, make a pious visit to the baptistry or other place in which they received the sacrament of baptism, and renew their baptismal promises in any legitimate form.