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Designated churches open '24 Hours for the Lord' March 4-5

By Mark Labbe
Posted: 2/19/2016

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CNS/courtesy of Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization

BOSTON -- As part of Pope Francis' worldwide Lenten initiative, 24 Hours for the Lord, the Archdiocese of Boston has called for 12 churches to remain open for adoration and confession during a 24 hour period from the evening of March 4 to March 5.

People who visit one of the designated churches during that time will also be able to receive a plenary indulgence for the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Those who wish to receive the plenary indulgence are to make a profession of faith and observe the usual conditions for obtaining an indulgence: sacramentally confess their sins, receive Communion, and pray for the intentions of the pope.

Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley is expected to participate in the 24 Hours for the Lord at St. Joseph Church in Lynn, at 7:30 p.m. on March 4.

Father Jeremy St. Martin, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church in Townsend, another of the parishes participating in the initiative, has a number of "festivities" lined up for the 24 hour period.

According to a nearly full schedule posted on the parish's website, numerous groups will provide singing and music, including Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary School of St. Benedict Abbey and a World Youth Day Group. Other groups, including the Knights of Columbus, will lead the rosary.

Speaking with The Pilot Feb. 16, Father St. Martin said he was expecting a strong youth presence at the 24 Hours for the Lord, and said that "some of the youth" had been actually asking to do something like the initiative before it was announced for this year.

"There's a youth group here that is very impressive, they are very joyful about the faith," he said.

"They're very courageous -- they're not afraid, they're not shy ... they want to share their faith and disperse their faith," Father St. Martin continued.

While priests will take shifts at the different parishes over the 24-hour period to hear confessions, Father St. Martin said he plans on being there "the whole time" at his parish.

The following churches in the Archdiocese of Boston will be participating in the 24 Hours for the Lord initiative:

Central Region

-- The Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston

South Region

-- Immaculate Conception Church, Stoughton

-- Sacred Heart Church, Middleborough

-- St. Paul Church, Hingham

West Region

-- St. Catherine of Siena Church, Norwood

-- Immaculate Conception Church, Marlborough

-- Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, Holliston

North Region

-- St. Joseph Church, Lynn

-- St. Theresa of Lisieux Church, North Reading

Merrimack Region

-- Holy Family Church, Amesbury

-- St. John the Evangelist Church, Townsend

-- St. Joseph the Worker Shrine, Lowell