Saint Martha Students Encounter God's Mercy
On the chilly morning of Thursday, October 27th, as the first snow of the season floated to the ground, the faculty and students in grades 4-8 at Saint Martha School in Enfield, CT embarked on a pilgrimage to Saint Joseph Cathedral in Hartford. The purpose of the journey was to meet the prerequisite conditions for receiving a plenary indulgence during the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy. Students began learning about the significance of this holy year through instructions given to them by their pastor, the Rev. Robert Villa, and through presentations by their principal, Dr. Ann Southworth in collaboration with teachers. According to the Code of Canon Law 992, "an indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven." Faculty and students completed their first step toward receiving the indulgence through participation in the Sacrament of Reconciliation on the Wednesday prior to their voyage. Upon arrival at their destination, the pilgrims were greeted by Father Romanowski, who shared the history behind the building of the gothic style cathedral. This was followed by a procession through the holy door, the celebration of the Eucharist, and the recitation of traditional prayers for the intentions of his holiness, Pope Francis. The graces the pupils received from the experience were evident. The children reported feeling a lightness within and having an abundance of joy. One student in particular, a non-Catholic, has inquired about the process of being baptized into the Catholic Church. The journey was truly an encounter with the Lord and has yielded many blessings for the community of Saint Martha.