Church Doors Open This Weekend for 24 Hours for the Lord

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
3 Mar 2016

St Mary's Cathedral will be open for 24 hours 4-5 March 2016
for prayer

Pope Francis has called on the parishes and dioceses of the world to join him in opening up the doors of their churches and cathedrals for adoration and the Sacrament of Reconciliation this weekend from Friday 4 to Saturday 5 March 2016.

This global prayer event entitled 24 Hours for the Lord, began in 2014 at the invitation of Pope Francis and has been held each year during Lent as an invitation for the universal Church to unite in prayer and solidarity, and to reach out to those who may not be practising their faith.

St Mary's Cathedral and parishes all over the Archdiocese will open their doors for 24 hours, or an extended period, of adoration and Reconciliation whilst reflecting on the Year of Mercy theme "Merciful like the Father" (Luke 6:36).

24 Hours for the Lord will be hosted by the Archdiocese's Office for Evangelisation, CREDO and will bring together parishes, schools, religious orders, groups and movements throughout Sydney at St Mary's Cathedral to fill the hours from midday on Friday 4 March through to midday on Saturday 5 March.

Director of CREDO, Cathy Kennedy explains the purpose of the event is to not only join in solidarity with the Church throughout the world in prayer but to reach out to others with a welcoming invitation.

"This is an evangelisation event and is an opportunity to bring a friend to this gentle time of prayer and encounter Christ's love and mercy", said Cathy Kennedy.

Making the sacrament of reconciliation available will be a focus of 24 Hours for the Lord following Pope Francis' encouragement to lean upon the mercy of God in this special sacrament. In his Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis calls for a greater embracing of the grace of penance in the Christian life:

24 Hours for the Lord will see church doors open across the Archdiocese for adoration this weekend

"Let us place the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the centre once more in such a way that it will enable people to touch the grandeur of God's mercy with their own hands."

St Mary's Cathedral will make the "Lady Chapel" (behind the main altar of the Cathedral) available for this purpose from midday on Friday, 4 March until midday on Saturday, 5 March. Continuous adoration will be available except for Mass times (1:10pm & 5:30pm on Friday, 9am on Saturday). The 24 hours will culminate with the regular Saturday midday Mass. After hours access will be through the Eastern doors.

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will be animated with prayer and/or music by such groups as St Mary's Cathedral College, Servants of God's Divine Mercy, OLSH Sisters, Focolare, Verbum Dei Community, Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Neocatechumenal Way, University Chaplaincies, Capuchin Young Adults, Fraternas, Sydney Evangelisation Network, Antioch, Missionaries of Charity, Holy Trinity Community and the Emmanuel Community.

"Having such a variety of groups committing to keeping the vigil going, even in the middle of the night, is a great sign of the vibrancy in the life of the Church community in Sydney" said Cathy Kennedy.

"24 Hours for the Lord is a special invitation to spend dedicated time with the Lord this Lenten season," said Cathy explaining what a gift prayer can be to the 21st Century Catholic with busy lives and so many demands on their time.
"We don't have many opportunities presented to us in our daily lives to sit in silence with the Lord of the Universe and listen to Him."

Cathy Kennedy, Director of CREDO

In addition to the prayer vigil at the Cathedral parishes throughout Sydney will also be keeping their church doors open to pray in solidarity with Catholics all around the world and with the Holy Father.

In the North, South, East and West of the Archdiocese of Sydney, the faithful will be able to attend a parish church nearby and join in this universal prayer of the Church, especially significant in this extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.

For example, in the North, Holy Cross Woollahra will dedicate a time of prayer from 10am-12pm on Friday 4 March. St John Bosco, on the Southern edge of the Archdiocese will keep its doors open for prayer from 9am Friday 4 March until 7.30am on Saturday. In the Eastern suburbs St Patrick's Bondi will keep vigil throughout the night, and amongst other parishes in the Western suburbs Good Shepherd, Hoxton Park will host prayer from 7pm until midnight on the Friday.

To see a full list of parishes participating in 24 Hours for the Lord see here
To see the program for 24 Hours for the Lord at St Mary's Cathedral see here