Diocesan Pilgrimages

In honor of St. Joseph

Plenary Indulgence granted for the Year of St. Joseph

Exciting news! The Holy See has granted a plenary indulgence (under the usual conditions) for the faithful who make a pilgrimage to the locations listed below during the Year of St. Joseph. Continue reading for more information.

Year of St. Joseph Pilgrimages

As a spiritually fruitful way to celebrate the Year of St. Joseph, we encourage the faithful to make a pilgrimage to the many parishes and chapels named for St. Joseph across the Diocese of Charlotte.

For this purpose, the official Year of St. Joseph Prayer Book—with a forward written by Bishop Jugis—is now available for purchase. The prayer book includes blank, passport-style pages to be stamped at each parish or chapel with an official Year of St. Joseph stamp customized for each location.

Click here to order your Year of St. Joseph prayer book, or check with your parish office about placing a bulk order at a special discounted rate from our local Catholic publisher.

Plan out your 2020 calendar! Make it a family or group activity to collect all the stamps as part of your Year of St. Joseph devotional activities.


A pilgrimage is no ordinary journey. It’s a kind of “holy traveling” undertaken with resolve for a particular spiritual purpose. Throughout Church history the faithful have traveled to holy sites—whether it’s a place where a saint lived, where a miracle occurred, or where a saint is especially honored—to obtain a special favor and to do penance for one’s sins.

When a church is named for a saint, it means that particular saint is its special guardian and intercessor in heaven. When you travel to parishes named for St. Joseph and leave your prayer intentions at his altars, it shows him special honor and will increase the blessings and graces you’ll receive through his intercession.


To have a fruitful pilgrimage, simply carry a special prayer intention in your mind and heart. You can have a single intention, or a different one for each destination. Upon arrival kneel near St. Joseph’s altar or statue and pray fervently, asking him to intercede with Jesus Christ for your request. Conclude by offering prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving. This act of faith, made during the Year of St. Joseph, will gain a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions. Continue reading below for more information.

St. Joseph Parishes & Chapels

Make a pilgrimage to the sacred places named for St. Joseph in the Diocese of Charlotte and receive plenary indulgences for yourself or your loved ones. Continue reading below for information on plenary indulgences.

Visit one or all nine locations in 2020!


St. Joseph

512 W. Wainman Avenue
Asheboro, NC 27203

Bryson City

St. Joseph

316 Main Street
Bryson City, NC 28713


St. Joseph

4929 Sandy Porter Road
Charlotte, NC 28273


St. Joseph of the Hills

316 Boone Road
Eden, NC 27288


St. Joseph

108 St. Joseph Street
Kannapolis, NC 28083


St. Joseph

720 W 13th Street
Newton, NC 28658

Belmont Abbey

Adoration Chapel (open 24-hours)

100 Belmont Mt. Holly Rd.
Belmont, NC 28012


Cathedral of St. Patrick

1621 Dilworth Rd. East
Charlotte, NC 28203

Mt. Holly

“Old St. Joseph” historical site

N.C. 273 & Sandy Ford Rd.
Mt Holly, NC 28120

*Church will be open for Mass on the first Sunday of every month from February to December from 1pm to 3:30pm. A historic site only with no bathroom facilities. Pilgrim groups can arrange for a tour by contacting Queen of the Apostles Catholic Church in Belmont, NC.


St. Joseph Minor Seminary

22 Arctus Ave.
Mt Holly, NC 28120

*Building will be complete in May 2020. Once completed, the seminary chapel will be open to pilgrims from 9am – 5pm daily.


1. This is how an indulgence is defined in the Code of Canon Law (can. 992) and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 1471):

“An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.”

2. In general, the gaining of indulgences requires certain prescribed conditions (below, nn. 3, 4), and the performance of certain prescribed works.

3. To gain indulgences, whether plenary or partial, it is necessary that the faithful be in the state of grace at least at the time the indulgenced work is completed.

4. A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day. In order to obtain it, the faithful must, in addition to being in the state of grace:

  • have the interior disposition of complete detachment from sin, even venial sin;
  • have sacramentally confessed their sins;
  • receive the Holy Eucharist (it is certainly better to receive it while participating in Holy Mass, but for the indulgence only Holy Communion is required);
  • pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff.

5. It is appropriate, but not necessary, that the sacramental Confession and especially Holy Communion and the prayer for the Pope’s intentions take place on the same day that the indulgenced work is performed; but it is sufficient that these sacred rites and prayers be carried out within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act. Prayer for the Pope’s intentions is left to the choice of the faithful, but an “Our Father” and a “Hail Mary” are suggested. One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a separate Holy Communion and a separate prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions are required for each plenary indulgence.

6. For the sake of those legitimately impeded, confessors can commute both the work prescribed and the conditions required (except, obviously, detachment from even venial sin).

7. Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.  

Source: Apostolic Penitentiary, The Gift of the Indulgence