That purgatory exists cannot be doubted, even CS Lewis admitted to the possibility. Purgatory is NOT the same as Hell. It is the process by which those souls who die in the state of grace & friendship with God are purified of all remain stains of sin & sin nature to enable them to stand before the presence of God for all eternity. The Catholic Church also teaches that prayers can help the dead who are in that state of "final purification".* These prayers can earn either a partail or a plenary indulgence.
For November the Catholic Church has provided some special means to gain a plenary indulgence for a soul in purgatory.
Purgatorio from Dante's Divine Comedy
You can gain a plenary indulgence to be applied only to the Poor Souls
in purgatory by visiting any parish church or public oratory and reciting either
Father or an Apostles
Creed on All Souls Day, November 2nd.
Gain a plenary indulgence to be applied only to the Poor Souls
on all the days from November 1 through November 8 by visiting a cemetery and
praying for the souls laid to rest there.
To gain either indulgence for the Poor Souls, all the usual conditions must be met. The conditions & regulations are as follows:
A plenary indulgence can be gained only once a day.
In order to
obtain it, the faithful must be 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. (Note: One sacramental Confession suffices for several plenary indulgences, but a
separate Holy Communion & a separate prayer for the Holy Father's intentions
are required for each plenary indulgence.)
Each plenary indulgence goes to a different soul & we will not know who until eternity.
But even if you don't meet all the conditions, a partial indulgence is gained & applied to some needy soul. I ask that it go to some forgotten soul who has no one to pray for them.
has written several excellent books on praying for the souls in purgatory, both in November & throughout the year. You can find out more by following the link to her website.
* The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1030 – 1031) teaches that
All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.