24 Hours for the Lord

03-24-2019From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John J. Barbella

This Friday our parish will host 24 Hours for the Lord. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed in our Church (rather than the chapel) from 9 AM Friday until 9 AM Saturday. People are invited to come and spend some quiet time with our Lord that day and night. You may come and stay for as long or as little as you like. It would be great if you could spend at least an hour with Jesus.

There will be some special prayer services during this time. A special Holy Hour at 9 PM Friday evening, and prayers at 8:30 AM Saturday morning. Confessions will be heard after Stations of the Cross Friday evening and at 9 AM Saturday morning. Stations of the Cross will be prayed in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament at 3 and 7 PM Friday, and the Daily Masses will be offered as usual.

Spending extra time in prayer is a great thing to do during Lent. To make a special effort to come at an "inconvenient" hour in the middle of the night is a special sacrifice to make for Jesus. It can even be offered as a special prayer for yourself, your family, or others. I hope many of you will take advantage of the opportunity!

Remember that we will have our parish Lenten Penance Service on Monday, April 1 at 7 PM. As usual, we will have about ten priests available to hear Confessions that evening. I am happy to announce that Msgr. Joseph G. Celano, a Missionary of Mercy, will preach at the brief service at 7 PM.

For those who may not know, a Missionary of Mercy is a priest who, after special training in Rome, has been commissioned by Pope Francis to preach the message of God's great mercy. He is also empowered by the Holy Father to forgive "reserved" sins (ones that normally require forgiveness from the Pope – such as desecration of the Blessed Sacrament). It should be a grace-filled evening – and I look forward to celebrating it with you.

Next week I will place Examinations of Conscience in the bulletin to help people prepare for Confession. You can also find pamphlets on "How to Make a Good Confession" around the Church. Please be sure to go to Confession before Lent is over, so you can celebrate Jesus' resurrection with a truly pure and grace-filled soul.

Finally, I want to remind everyone to give us a call when a family member is in the hospital. Current privacy regulations prevent the hospital from giving us a "list" of Catholic patients. Without a regular Catholic chaplain at St. Luke's Warren, it is very easy for someone to be missed.

A priest is on call for emergencies every day. Fr. James Tucker from St. Mary's is covering such emergencies on Mondays and Tuesdays, Fr. Burt Coruna of Annunciation in Bloomsbury is covering Wednesdays, and Fr. Leo and I cover Thursday thru Sunday. The hospital will call these priests if you request Anointing of the Sick, etc.

My hope is that a new priest chaplain will be assigned this spring. Until that time, please be sure to let us know if

a family member is in the hospital and would like one of us to visit. Fr. Leo and I are always glad to do this. It is one of the reasons we became priests!

Say a Hail Mary for me today – and every day – and have a great week!

Fr. John