Monday, June 30, 2008 - Updated: 12:01 amThe Diocese of Pittsburgh is beginning its Year of St. Paul celebration with Bishop David Zubik as principal celebrant and homilist at a 3 p.m. Mass Sunday, June 29, at St. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh?s Oakland neighborhood.
The Mass will be cablecast live on Christian Associates Channel 95 on the Comcast cable network in the city of Pittsburgh.
Bishop Zubik explained that, ?Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has asked the entire church universal to celebrate a year in honor of the life and conversion of St. Paul the Apostle commemorating the 2,000th anniversary of his birth. This observance has special meaning for the church of Pittsburgh since St. Paul is our secondary patron with Mary, under the title of her Immaculate Conception, being our primary patroness.?
During this jubilee year, the Vatican?s Apostolic Penitentiary, the office within the Holy See that oversees indulgences, has granted a plenary indulgence to those who make a visit to local churches and institutions with a special link to St. Paul. Similar indulgences were granted by Pope John Paul II for the 2000 jubilee for those making pilgrimages to designated churches.
In addition to the cathedral, three churches in the diocese have St. Paul as their patron: SS. Peter and Paul in Beaver; SS. John and Paul, Franklin Park/Marshall Township; and St. Paul, Butler.
Individuals visiting those local churches and St. Paul Cathedral can gain indulgences during the Year of St. Paul if they also fulfill the normal requirements.
The normal requirements set by the church for all plenary indulgences are that within several days before or after the visit to a church that has St. Paul as its patron, the person participates in the sacrament of penance and receives the Eucharist. On the day of the visit, the person is to pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, ?by reciting one Our Father and one Hail Mary; nevertheless, the individual faithful are free to recite any other prayer according to their own piety and devotion toward the supreme pontiff? (?Indulgentiarum Doctrina,? Norm 10). In addition, ?the person must be completely removed from the attachment to any form of sin.?
A special booklet on the indulgences and affiliated churches (?Indulgence Granted for Year of St. Paul?) has been prepared by the diocese and is posted on the diocesan Web site (www.diopitt.org).
The June 29 celebration also marks the beginning of the diocesan-wide Year of Eucharistic Adoration. All parishes in the diocese will participate in eucharistic adoration and exposition during specific hours on at least two days over the next year. The cathedral is initiating its eucharistic adoration June 29 following the regular 6 p.m. Mass, at the main altar of the church, from 7-11 p.m.
?Every parish has been asked to designate days in the upcoming year where the faithful can spend time in adoration before the most Blessed Sacrament praying for an increase of vocations,? Bishop Zubik said.
The full schedule of times for adoration in parishes was in a special booklet distributed in the June 20 issue of the Pittsburgh Catholic, and is posted on the diocesan Web site (www.diopitt.org). There is a link from the Pittsburgh Catholic Web site (www.pittsburghcatholic.org) to the adoration schedule.
Those interested in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament should contact parishes for directions or any changes to the schedule. Changes to the schedule will be posted on the diocesan Web site.