A Wonderful Time of Prayer and Reconciliation - 24 Hours for the Lord
The Invitation from Pope Francis to spend 24 hours for the Lord was embraced in churches across the Deaneries of the Diocese. On March 4th the Holy Father begin the Vigil in St. Peter’s (picture right). In his homily he said: “Today more than ever, we Pastors are especially called to hear the cry, perhaps hidden, of all those who wish to encounter the Lord.” He continued “..For what the Father awaits more than anything is for his sons and daughters to return home” (cf. Lk 15:20-32).
In our own diocese Bishop Richard was able, during the course of the night, to join three of the Surrey Deaneries and noted the steady number of people seeking the Sacrament of Confession.
In Crawley (pictured above) the priests of the Deanery shared the 24 hours and between them heard confessions for almost 60 hours. At 3am there were 25 people in the Friary quietly praying and waiting for the Sacrament. Mgr. Tony Barry noted that these were some of the most ‘moving and inspiring hours of his priesthood’. At the same time (2am-4am) in Brighton Fr. Ray Blake reported that 30 people were in prayer and that it was good to see so many confessions.
In Worthing there was an intensive time of prayer and Fr. Terry Martin was kept busy with people experiencing mercy through the sacrament of Reconciliation.
In the parish of the Good Shepherd, St. Leonards and Hollington, Canon Tom Treherne reflected that time for the Lord has been a ‘great success’ and he had a sense that people had taken the prayer back into their homes.
Fr. Paul Turner reported that hundreds had attended in Chichester and that they celebrated through the 24 hours with Holy Mass, Stations of the Cross and finished on the Saturday morning with praise and…breakfast.
It is a story repeated across the Diocese, and it seems, across the world – though, so far, Chichester is the only place reported to have finished with bacon and eggs!