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Pope's Invite for '24 Hours for the Lord': 'Let's Rediscover Reconciliation'

Pope Francis’ Presiding Over Penitential Celebration Kicked Off the Event for Us to Encounter Father’s Mercy Which Accepts, Forgives

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“I invite all communities to live with faith the March 23-24 appointment of “24 Hours for the Lord” to rediscover the sacrament of Reconciliation.”
Pope Francis gave this encouragement at the end of his General Audience today, March 22, 2017, in St. Peter’s Square, noting: “I hope that this year be a privileged moment of grace in the Lenten journey, that will be experienced in many churches to experience the joyous encounter with our Father’s mercy, who accepts and forgives everyone.”

The Pope’s  penitential celebration on Friday, March 17, 2017, kicked off, as it has in recent years, the initiative by the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization entitled “24 Hours For the Lord.”

The theme of the initiative this year will be “I desire mercy” (Matthew 9:13), and will take place, in many dioceses around the world on March 24-25, 2017, on the eve of the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Laetare Sunday.
In recent years, the Pope has presided over the penitential celebration. As the Holy See Press Office reported, the Pontiff during last Friday’s penitential celebration heard the Confessions of seven penitents: three men and four women, all laypeople. In total, the confessions, which began around 5 p.m., lasted about 50 minutes.
During the individual confessions, moments of silence and singing alternated in the Basilica. After the conclusive prayer and the Rites of Conclusion, the Marian antiphon “Salve, Mater Misericordiae” was sung.
On the NET:
More information about “24 Hours for the Lord” on the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization website: http://www.novaevangelizatio.va/content/nvev/en.html
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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio, Sky, and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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