Diocesan News

24 Hours for the Lord

Confessions available at the Cathedral March 24 through 25

LINCOLN (SNR) — The Diocese of Lincoln will sponsor 24 Hours for the Lord March 24 and 25, offering the sacrament of confession and Eucharistic Adoration for a continuous 24-hour period at the Cathedral of the Risen Christ, 3500 Sheridan Blvd, Lincoln. 

24 Hours for the Lord is an initiative begun in 2014 by Pope Francis, and offered by many Catholic dioceses worldwide.

The Lincoln event will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, March 24, at the conclusion of the 5 p.m. Mass, and continue until 6 p.m. Saturday, March 25.

Priests from the Lincoln area will take shifts offering the sacrament of confession for the entire 24-hour period, with Bishop James Conley taking a two-hour late night shift on Friday night. The Knights of the Holy Eucharist, an organization of religious brothers, will organize an overnight prayer vigil in the cathedral during 24 Hours for the Lord.

The diocese organized the event at the encouragement of Bishop James Conley. 

“The sacrament of confession is so important for Catholics because God offers mercy and forgiveness for our sins,” the bishop said. “I want people to be able to come to confession at any time, day or night, to find an encounter with Jesus Christ.” 

“I’m inspired by Pope Francis’ witness to God’s mercy,” Conley continued. “I’m glad we can join Pope Francis, and invite people to come to confession. God wants us all to have a deeper experience of his love.”

Editor's Note: Read Bishop Conley's invitation here.

24 Hours for the Lord will be offered in Rome, where Pope Francis himself will hear confessions, and in dioceses across the United States and worldwide. The Diocese of Lincoln has participated in 24 Hours for the Lord since 2015, and reported hundreds of participants each year.

JD Flynn, spokesman for the Diocese of Lincoln, explained that 24 Hours for the Lord is an invitation for all people. 

“We hope people will come to confession who have been away from the Church for a while, for whatever reason. We also hope that people with unusual work schedules, who can’t regularly get to confession, might be able to come whenever it’s convenient, even in the middle of the night.”

Conley agreed. “I want people to know that for 24 hours, the light is on, the doors are open, and our priests are waiting to offer the sacrament of mercy.”

Father Randall Langhorst, vicar for clergy, arranged for nearly 30 priests to come to the Cathedral to hear confessions in this event.

“They all said yes without hesitation,” he reported. “Especially those who signed up for the wee hours of the morning expressed the joy of just helping one person be freed of their sins – it makes it all worth any lack of sleep.”

He said he hoped the 24 Hours event would help ease any awkwardness or discomfort one might face if they’ve been away from the sacrament a long time.

“Each priest will be more than glad to help anyone through,” he stressed. A person who is concerned should “just begin by saying, ‘Father it has been a long time,’ or ‘I find this difficult, would you please help me.’”

It is Jesus waiting in the confessional, he reminded, “and those words of absolution render such a healing effect. They restore peace of mind to continue the journey in joy, without all the accumulated baggage.”

He added that the 24 Hours are not only for those who have been absent from the sacrament for a long period of time, but also for those who use the sacrament regularly or devotionally. 

“It is simply a gift by the priests, in stewardship of their time, to make the sacrament accessible to anyone who desires the graces waiting there to be received,” he said. 

Father Eric Clark, assistant pastor at St. Michael Parish in Lincoln, agreed.

“The sacrament of reconciliation is the font of the merciful love of Jesus Christ for humanity,” he said. “As a priest, I am truly amazed that the power of the Holy Spirit continues to transform sinners into saints with each humble confession.

24 Hours for the Lord reminds us that the Lord desires all of humanity to come to him, whether day or night,” he continued. “The Church has beloved disciples like John and Nicodemus, who came to Jesus in the middle of the night. What a great gift as a priest to receive that person at any time!”

In the late hours, all should use the west entrance, which will be unlocked. Priests will trade places at the beginning of each hour.

To find regular confession times at a Catholic church in your area, click on ‘Parishes.’ Each parish in the diocese has Mass and weekend Mass and confession schedules listed, as well as contact information to learn more.

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