Obtaining an Indulgence Through One of the Diocesan Holy Doors


What better time to gain a plenary indulgence than during the Lenten season? For the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis has sought to make indulgences widely available to gain by designating a Holy Door in every Cathedral around the world, along with special shrines and parishes in each Diocese.

In the Diocese of Gallup, five parishes have doors designated for this purpose:

Sacred Heart Cathedral, Gallup NM
St. Joseph Church, Laguna NM
Sacred Heart Church, Waterflow NM
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church, Ft. Defiance AZ

St. Johns Church, St. Johns AZ

Each of these doors is located on a particular side of the parish (at the Cathedral, for instance, the Holy Doors are on the north side of the building with a pitched overhead roof).

Even though we can only obtain one plenary indulgence a day, if you perform the required actions for other plenary indulgences on the same day, you can still obtain multiple partial indulgences.

To receive the Jubilee Year indulgence, you must fulfill the usual conditions, (specified below) and perform the indulgenced act: passing through a designated Holy Door during the extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy (between Dec. 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the immaculate Conception, and Nov. 20, 2016, the Solemnity of Christ the King) or performing one of the corporal or spiritual works of mercy.

As for the sick and the elderly, the Pope has said, “For them it will be of great help to live their sickness and suffering as an experience of closeness to the Lord who in the mystery of his Passion, death and Resurrection indicates the royal road which gives meaning to pain and loneliness. Living with faith and joyful hope this moment of trial, receiving communion or attending Holy Mass and community prayer, even through the various means of communication, will be for them the means of obtaining the Jubilee indulgence.”

You may receive the plenary indulgence yourself, or offer it for a person in purgatory.

To receive a plenary indulgence

To refresh everyone’s memories, here are the normal conditions for receiving a plenary indulgence:

– It is necessary that the person be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.

– A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the person must, in addition to being in the state of grace: have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin; have sacramentally confessed their sins; receive the Holy Eucharist; and pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope’s intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act. Prayer for the Pope’s intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an Our Father and a Hail Mary are suggested. One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions are required for each plenary indulgence.

Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.

For more information on making a trip to the Holy Doors, please call the designated parishes at the following numbers:

Sacred Heart Cathedral: 505-722-6644
St. Joseph Church: 505-552-9330
Sacred Heart Church: 505-598-5454
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church: 928-729-5068
St. Johns Church: 928-337-4390


Some of this text has been adapted from the decree on plenary indulgences for the 2000 Jubilee Year.

Featured image: Wikimedia Commons


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