February 17, 2016 During this Jubilee Year of Mercy, with its motto, “Merciful Like the Father,” 12 parishes throughout the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend will join the universal Church on March 4-5 in the celebration of “24 Hours for the Lord.”
In the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, “Misericordiae Vultus,” which was announced in Rome April 11, 2015 in St. Peter’s, Pope Francis called for an observance of 24 Hours for the Lord to be celebrated in each diocese on the Friday and Saturday preceding the Fourth Week of Lent. The emphasis will be on Reconciliation, but participating parishes will also include Eucharistic Adoration, Stations of the Cross, various prayer services and quiet prayer throughout the 24 hours, which will run from noon on Friday, March 4 till noon on Saturday, March 5.
Catholics all over the diocese are invited to attend some part of 24 Hours for the Lord, even if it’s simply spending time in quiet reflection and prayer. There will be numerous opportunities for the faithful to encounter Jesus Christ anew in the Sacrament of Confession as well as during Eucharistic Adoration.
In his writing, “Misericordiae Vultus,” Pope Francis wrote of the importance of the sacrament of Reconciliation: “So many people, including young people, are returning to the sacrament of Reconciliation; through this experience they are rediscovering a path back to the Lord, living a moment of intense prayer and finding meaning in their lives.” Scheduled times of Confession during 24 Hours for the Lord are an opportunity to talk to a priest to discover, or rediscover, the mercy that is extended to all.
Pope Francis said, “Every confessor must accept the faithful as the father in the parable of the prodigal son: a father who runs out to meet his son despite the fact that he has squandered away his inheritance. Confessors are called to embrace the repentant son who comes back home and to express the joy of having him back again.”
The 12 parishes hosting 24 Hours for the Lord in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend will be: St. Therese, Little Flower, South Bend; St. Thomas, Elkhart; St. Joseph, South Bend; St. Mary of the Annunciation, Bristol; Holy Family, South Bend; St. Francis Xavier, Pierceton; St. John the Baptist, Fort Wayne; Christ the King, South Bend; St. Jude, Fort Wayne; St. Vincent de Paul, Fort Wayne; St. John the Evangelist, Goshen; and the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Fort Wayne.
A full schedule from the individual parishes and more information on 24 Hours for the Lord can be found at www.MyYearOfMercy.org.