byGregory L. Tracy Pilot Staff
People join in prayer during the Mass celebrated by Cardinal O'Malley at the start of the observance of 24 Hours for the Lord at St. Joseph Parish in Lynn March 4. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy
LYNN -- Several hundred parishioners from Lynn and the surrounding communities joined Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley March 4 for a 7 p.m. Mass at St. Joseph Parish to mark the beginning of 24 Hours for the Lord.
24 Hours for the Lord is a Lenten initiative begun by Pope Francis, which has been celebrated in March since 2014. As part of the initiative, the pope asked dioceses throughout the world to designate churches to remain open for 24 hours -- from the evening of Friday, March 4 to the evening of Saturday, March 5 -- for confession and adoration. St. Joseph was one of the 12 specially designated churches in the Archdiocese of Boston.
In his homily, which was delivered in English and Spanish, the cardinal said 24 Hours for the Lord took on special significance during the Holy Year of Mercy.
"All over the world, Catholics are united in this beautiful exercise of coming together to celebrate the Lord's mercy and to commit ourselves to be a people of mercy, to rejoice that our loving God is always anxious to forgive us and he wants us to know how to forgive one another and to practice mercy so that people we see that we are truly his disciples," the cardinal said.