"Rebuild my Church"
When Saint Francis heard those words from the mouth of the Lord, speaking through the San Damiano crucifix in a small, dilapidated church, he took them to mean simply rebuilding that and other church structures like it. That first tiny Portiuncula, a holy place and the center of St. Francis' activity, is recreated here on Franciscan's campus as a grace-filled haven for quiet meditation and eucharistic adoration.
Plenary Indulgences at the Portiuncula
By the generosity of the Vatican office of the Apostolic Penitentiary, faithful who visit the Portiuncula can receive plenary indulgences on any of five different occasions through the year. Plenary indulgences release the recipient from all temporal punishment due to sin, wiping out any time in purgatory incurred by past sins.
According to the decree, those who desire to gain the plenary indulgence should devoutly visit the Portiuncula Chapel, where they pray for the intentions of the Holy Father including the Our Father and the Creed. In addition, it is necessary that the Church’s ordinary conditions for receiving a plenary indulgence be met: Individuals must have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin; have made a sacramental confession; and have received the Holy Eucharist. These must be completed within a week to 10 days before or after the visit to the Portiuncula.
The indulgence may be obtained on any of five occasions during the year:
- August 2, the feast of Our Lady of the Angels of the Portiuncula;
- October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi;
- January 22, the dedication of the Tomb of the Unborn Child located next to the Portiuncula; and
- On any day during the year of a person’s choosing, or while completing a “holy pilgrimage” to the Portiuncula with a group.
Eucharistic Adoration at the Portiuncula
The Portiuncula is set aside for private prayer and Eucharistic adoration. During the academic year, perpetual adoration begins as soon as all time slots have at least two people committed. Sign-ups take place at the beginning of each semester through the coordinator of Chapel Ministry Administration.
During breaks adoration hours are limited. The Eucharist is reposed and the Port is open for prayer from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eucharistic adoration during the summer begins as soon as all time slots are filled from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Pope Benedict on Eucharistic Adoration
In the Eucharist, the Son of God comes to meet us and desires to become one with us; Eucharistic adoration is simply the natural consequence of the Eucharistic celebration, which is itself the Church's supreme act of adoration.
Receiving the Eucharist means adoring Him whom we receive. Only in this way do we become one with Him, and are given, as it were, a foretaste of the beauty of the heavenly liturgy. The act of adoration outside Mass prolongs and intensifies all that takes place during the liturgical celebration itself.
(Sacramentum Caritatis 66)
Thanks be to God that after the [Second Vatican] Council, after a period in which the sense of Eucharistic Adoration was somewhat lacking, the joy of this adoration was reborn everywhere in the Church, as we saw and heard at the Synod on the Eucharist. Of course, the conciliar Constitution on the Liturgy enabled us to discover to the full the riches of the Eucharist in which the Lord's testament is accomplished: he gives himself to us and we respond by giving ourselves to him.
We have now rediscovered, however, that without adoration as an act consequent to Communion received, this centre which the Lord gave to us, that is, the possibility of celebrating his sacrifice and thus of entering into a sacramental, almost corporeal, communion with him, loses its depth as well as its human richness.
Adoration means entering the depths of our hearts in communion with the Lord, who makes himself bodily present in the Eucharist. In the monstrance, he always entrusts himself to us and asks us to be united with his Presence, with his risen Body.
(Meeting with members of the Roman Clergy on March 2, 2006)
Policies for Perpetual Adoration
Those who feel called to sign up for an adoration time in the Portiuncula have a special responsibility. Please sign up for a time which you will be able consistently to fulfill. And please be faithful to your time commitment.
Sign up for an adoration time at the beginning of each semester. Sign up sheets will be posted in the Chapel foyer. Listen for announcements at Mass as to when sign ups begin.
Once you sign up for a time, notification will be sent to you regarding your time and when adoration will begin. If you are unable to stay committed to this time or must change it, contact the Chapel office immediately.
If for some reason you are unable to make your adoration time because of an additional commitment on one occasion, please find a substitute. If you are unable to find a replacement, contact the Chapel office.
Additional Use of the Portiuncula
The Portiuncula is mainly reserved for quiet prayer and adoration. Any vocal prayer is not encouraged in the Portiuncula itself. However, sites outside of the main chapel such as the Marian grotto, Tomb of the Unborn Child, créche, and hillside stations of the Cross are available for vocal prayer.
To preserve the peace and calm that the Portiuncula provides those who wish to pray without distration, flash photography and video recording are not permitted. If you are required to record for news purposes, public relations, or class projects, the Office of Chapel Ministry must approve in advance.
Special Masses and other uses
Any additional requests for reservations of the Portiuncula such as special Masses or weddings are very rarely approved. All requests must be brought to the the Office of Chapel Ministry.