Archbishop José H. Gomez has designated ten parishes in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as pilgrimage sites during the Year of Faith. Pilgrims visiting these sites this year may receive a “plenary indulgence for the temporal punishment of sin” for themselves and for deceased loved ones. According to guidelines issued by the Vatican, to obtain the indulgences, pilgrims must be truly sorry for their sins, go to Confession and receive the Eucharist, and pray for the Pope’s intentions. “The Church’s ancient practice of granting indulgences is a beautiful sign of God’s love and mercy and the Church’s ministry of reconciliation,” said Archbishop Gomez.“Jesus Christ gave his Catholic Church the power to forgive sins in his name. But we realize that even though our Heavenly Father forgives our sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we still need to be healed from the wounds that our sins cause in us and purified of their effects in our lives.”The archbishop noted that this process of purification and healing usually takes place either on earth — “when we bear our trials and sufferings patiently with faith” — or after death, in the state of Purgatory. By granting a “plenary indulgence,” he said, “the Church frees us from the burdens of our past failings so that through our love we can grow closer to Jesus. So this opportunity to receive a plenary indulgence is a beautiful gift that our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has given us in this Year of Faith.”By making a pilgrimage to these selected churches — located in each of our five pastoral regions — “we will be making a little act of faith and love and expressing our desire to grow in holiness,” said Archbishop Gomez. “And in response, we will receive this great gift of God’s tender mercies and love.” At the pope’s request, the Vatican’s Apostolic Penitentiary has issued a decree that outlines the conditions for which Catholics may obtain a plenary indulgence during the Year of Faith. According to the decree, Catholics 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 every time they go as pilgrims to these designated churches “and take part there in some sacred function or at least pause in recollection for a suitable length of time with devout meditation.” Their action must conclude 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, the decree said. The designated Year of Faith pilgrimage churches for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are:Our Lady of the Angels Region:—Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St., Los Angeles; Msgr. Kevin Kostelnik, pastor; (213) 680-5200;—St. Augustine Church, 3850 Jasmine Ave., Culver City; Father Christopher Fagan, administrator pro tempore; (310) 838-2477; Fernando Region:—Holy Family Church, 209 E. Lomita Ave., Glendale; Father Jim Bevacqua, pastor; (818) 247-2222,—Blessed Junípero Serra Church, 42121 N. 60th St. West, Quartz Hill; Father Leo Dechant, CSJ, pastor; (661) 943-9314; Gabriel Region:—San Gabriel Mission, 428 S. Mission Dr., San Gabriel; Father Bruce Wellems, CMF, pastor; (626) 457-3035;—St. Joseph Church, 1150 W. Holt Ave., Pomona; Father Roberto Jaranilla Jr., pastor; (909) 629-4101 ; Pedro Region—Mary Star of the Sea Church, 877 W. 7th St., San Pedro; Father Brian Nunes, administrator pro tempore; (310) 833-3541;—St. Dominic Savio Church, 13400 Bellflower Blvd., Bellflower; Father Ted Montemayor, SDB, pastor; (562) 920-7796; Barbara Region:—Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 21 E. Sola St. Santa Barbara; Father Mario Prietto, SJ, pastor; (805) 963-1734;—Holy Cross Church, 13955 Peach Hill Rd., Moorpark; Msgr. Paul Albee, pastor; (805) 529-1397; read the Vatican decree, visit: more on the Catholic doctrine and practice of indulgences, see The Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 1472—1479.