In October of 2012, Pope Benedict XVI inaugurated a "Year of Faith" as an opportunity for Catholics and indeed all Christians to dedicate themselves to deepening their understanding of the gift of faith.
The Year of Faith is an opportunity to experience a conversion – to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with him. The pope has described this conversion as opening the “door of faith.” The “door of faith” is opened at one’s baptism, but during this year we are called to open it again, walk through it, and rediscover and renew our relationship with Christ.
As a part of this Year of Faith, dioceses throughout the world have designated places of pilgrimage and prayer to aide in this process of rediscovery. In addition to the spiritual benefits of visiting these sites, a pilgrimage is also an excellent opportunity to discover the rich artistic and cultural heritage of a given area. The Year of Faith comes to a close on 24 November 2013.
Below are a list and map of designated pilgrimage sites within the state of Nebraska:
Diocese of Grand Island
Grand Island, Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Diocese of Lincoln
Agnew, Carmel Chapel of Jesus, Mary, Joseph
Arapahoe, Our Lady of Fatima Shrine
Crete, Cor Mariae Schoenstatt Center
Lincoln, The Cathedral of the Risen Christ
Lincoln, Eucharistic Shrine and Adoration Chapel of Christ the King
Loma, St. Luke Czech Catholic Shrine
Archdiocese of Omaha
Boys Town, Immaculate Conception
Columbus, St. Bonaventure
Gretna, Holy Family Shrine
Jackson, St. Patrick
Madison, St. Leonard
O'Neill, St. Patrick
Omaha, St. Cecilia Cathedral
Omaha, Our Lady of Lourdes
Omaha, St. Margaret Mary
Omaha, St. Vincent de Paul
Randolph, St. Jane Frances de Chantal
West Point, St. Mary
Winnebago, St. Augustine
View Year of Faith Pilgrimage Sites in Nebraska in a larger map
If one wishes to obtain a plenary indulgence at a pilgrimage site, the pilgrim must be in the state of grace and have the intention of gaining the indulgence either for oneself or for a soul in Purgatory. The pilgrim then must take part in some sacred function at the place or else pause for a few moments of prayer, concluding with the recitation of the Our Father and a Profession of Faith (Apostles’ Creed) and a request for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin or the patron saint of the location. One also must say a prayer for the intentions of the Pope and receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist within eight days before, during, or after the pilgrimage.
In addition to the above mentioned pilgrimage sites, a pilgrim may visit the baptistery or other place where one was baptized and, while there, renew one's baptismal promises.