March 26, 2014  Press Release – Diocese of Juneau, Alaska

The Diocese of Juneau responds to Pope Francis’ call to provide 24 hour confessions

Bishop Edward J. Burns, Bishop of the Diocese of Juneau, has announced that the Southeast Alaska Diocese will participate in a program recently instituted by Pope Francis entitled  ‘24 Hours for the Lord.’  BurnsCoatofarms smallIn his weekly Sunday address, Pope Francis called for dioceses throughout the world to identify at least one church where confessions will be heard for 24 hours beginning this Friday, March 28 until Saturday, March 29.

After consultation with the priests of the Diocese, Bishop Burns announced that the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the corner of Fifth Street and Gold Avenue in downtown Juneau will provide confessions after the 5:30 PM Chrism Mass on Friday until the 5:30 PM Mass on Saturday.  Various priests of the Diocese, who are in town for the annual Chrism Mass, will be taking part in this “24 Hours for the Lord.”

In making his announcement in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, Pope Francis said,“It will be – we could call it –  a celebration of forgiveness.”

Bishop Burns said, “It is good for our Cathedral, the smallest cathedral in the country, to participate in such a huge event – a universal celebration of God’s mercy and forgiveness. The act of reconciliation with our Lord through the Sacrament of Penance is the central meaning and message of Lent and it is a joy to celebrate this event at the request of our Holy Father Francis. The invitation is this – at some point within this 24 hour period we invite people to respond to the universal call by our Shepherd, Pope Francis, to encounter God’s healing forgiveness through Sacrament of confession. It is a personal invitation by Pope Francis for us to carve out a small period of time in order to embrace a monumental experience of God’s compassion and love.

For more information or questions about this the “24 Hours for the Lord”, please contact either the Diocese of Juneau (907-586-2227 extension 25) or the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (907-586-1513).

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