For those who want to go straight to the source, there is the church's official "Manual of Indulgences." It's 172 pages and available online for $19.95. (You also can find copies at, where they're being offered for as little as $12.57.)

Here's a shorthand explanation.

There are two prerequisites for seeking an indulgence: You must be baptized and you must be in "full communion" with the Roman Catholic Church. Beyond that, there are five steps to follow:

• Going to confession.

• Receiving communion.

• Having no attachment to sin.

• Performing an act of love or devotion.

• Saying prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father.

The parishes designated as pilgrimage sites in the Twin Cities archdiocese are, in St. Paul: St. Paul Cathedral, St. Agnes, St. Peter Claver, St. Francis de Sales and St. Thomas the Apostle. In Minneapolis: Basilica of St. Mary. Also: In Ham Lake, St. Paul; Lakeville, All Saints; Loretto, Sts. Peter and Paul; Maple Lake, St. Timothy; New Prague, St. Wenceslaus; Robbinsdale, Sacred Heart; St. Michael, St. Michael; Woodbury, St. Ambrose, and Zumbrota, St. Paul's. The Jubilee Year in honor of St. Paul, also called the Pauline Year, ends June 29. On that day, people seeking an indulgence can go to any Roman Catholic church.