Just last night I was talking to my pastor about the fast-approaching Lenten season and whether our parish would have its usual reconciliation service. That led to a conversation about confession in general and the fact that people just don't seem to go anymore. So when I received word this morning that 20 parishes in Manhattan as well as St. Patrick's Cathedral are going to run "24 Hours of Confession” between 7 a.m. on Friday, March 6, through 7 a.m. on Saturday, March 7, my ears perked up. No more excuses about confession times being inconvenient. It would be great if more dioceses could jump on this bandwagon.
The campaign is a joint effort of the Cathedral of Saint Patrick Young Adults (CSPYA) in association with the Archdiocese of New York. Participating parishes will keep confessional "doors" open for a total of 120 hours during the 24-hour period.
“Thousands upon thousands of Catholics line up to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday each year…imagine if these same thousands of Catholics line up for confession? It could be a tremendous day for our Lord,” said Mario Bruschi, director of CSPYA, in a press release announcing the event. “The Archdiocese of Chicago organized a '24 Hours of Grace’ event in 2007, with seven parishes participating. On that day, 2,500 souls attended confession."
Bruschi said that the Chicago event translated into 105 people attending confession per hour. Hopes are high that 24 Hours of Confession will result in three times that number since so many parishes have signed on.
For a list of participating parishes, click here.