24 Hours for the Lord returns to Cathedral

| March 2, 2018 | 0 Comments

For the third year, the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul will host 24 Hours for the Lord March 9-10.

The annual event offers the sacrament of reconciliation for 24 consecutive hours, this time from 8 a.m. March 9 to 8 a.m. March 10, as well as eucharistic adoration.

“We anticipate that there will always be someone in the church for prayer and confession, and what a powerful way to prepare oneself for the sacrament of penance, reflecting in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist,” said Father John Ubel, Cathedral rector.

The event began locally during the Year of Mercy in 2016 when  Pope Francis asked every diocese or archdiocese in the world to designate at a church for confessions for a 24-hour period. Last year, Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens asked that adoration be added to the event. Adoration, which is considered an extension of the Mass because of the exposed presence of the Eucharist, proposes a deeper meaning for confession, too.

“To bring together these two sacraments into one moment is quite appropriate,” Father Erickson said. “What is confession for [but] … greater participation in the Mass? It all leads to communion with the Lord in the Mass.”

Father Ubel, whom the pope designated a “missionary of mercy,” hopes many people will come, especially those “who might be too busy or occupied [and] might just say to themselves, ‘What’s my excuse? If someone is waiting there for people, why not me?’”

“With respect to this great sacrament of God’s mercy, Pope Francis said back in 2014, ‘The mercy of God is stronger than sin,’” Father Ubel added. “He added in one of his general audiences that God ‘never tires of forgiving us. And we must never tire of going to ask for forgiveness.’”

Father Erickson noted that parishes around the archdiocese offer a “plethora of options for folks to go to confession Monday through Sunday.” He said 24 Hours for the Lord “is a special heightened time for confession here in the archdiocese, but it is by no means the only special time.”

At least two priests are anticipated to hear confessions during each of the 24 hours, with four priests from 5-10 p.m.

Both Father Ubel and Father Erickson said the Cathedral, as the “mother church” of the diocese, is an appropriate host for the event, and it offers additional anonymity for penitents.

“In a very real sense, [the Cathedral] is the parish church of the archbishop,” Father Erickson said. “This [24 Hours for the Lord] is a papal endeavor. Archbishop Hebda is a collaborator of Pope Francis. It’s fitting that this activity … should be at the parish that is our own local [arch]bishop’s church.”

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