Cecile Pagliarulo 2018-02-14 02:29:56
Every church in the Diocese to be open Monday nights in Lent for Confession CLIFTON All churches in the Paterson Diocese will be open on Monday evenings from Feb. 19 to March 19 during Lent for all to experience God’s healing love and forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Through the Diocese’s “Welcome Home to Healing” initiative, every church in Morris, Sussex and Passaic counties is inviting Catholics, especially those who have been away from the Church, to come home to receive forgiveness and healing in the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent In his personal invitation to all about the “Welcome Home to Healing” initiative, Bishop Serratelli wrote: “Jesus opens us to the profound meaning of the kingdom with his parable of the Prodigal Son (Lk 15:11-32). It is found at the very center of Luke’s Gospel. It is the very heart of the gospel itself! The son, who takes his inheritance, squanders it away and finds himself unfulfilled, is each of us. We take the gifts that God gives us and use them against God’s will. We are the ones left empty, longing and desiring more than our sinful lives can give. “As in the parable, so in life. God is the Father who sees us, runs to us and embraces us. He takes our feeble confession of sin and turns it into a moment of great rejoicing. Our sins strip us of our dignity. God clothes us with his grace and peace. Nothing can make God stop loving us. In fact, as Paul says, “God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8),” he wrote. The “Welcome Home to Healing program is now in its 10th year and thousands of Catholics from the Diocese and beyond have “come home” and experienced God’s healing love. One of the purposes of the program is to draw the faithful closer to a call of conversion as they prepare for Holy Week and the Easter season. Father Kevin Corcoran, diocesan vice chancellor and priest-secretary to the Bishop, said, “The program is designed as a special way to reach out to those who have been away from Church and the Sacraments. It is also to reaffirm the importance of the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the life of every Catholic. The good Father is anxiously waiting for his prodigal children to come home.” Since the program began a decade ago, parishes have welcomed many Catholics back to the Church through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Often, churches have stayed open longer on Monday evenings to accommodate all those seeking to go to confession. According to several priests in the Diocese, the program is reaching people who otherwise might not have thought about going to confession. Father Corcoran said, “Christ gives the Sacrament of Reconciliation as the ordinary way to receive his healing, help and forgiveness, the path to true peace. Don’t be afraid to accept this great gift. Take the risk, you won’t be disappointed.” Because the program largely aims toward Catholics who have been away from the Church or the sacrament, the Diocese has set up a website for the “Welcome Home” program with resources for people on how to go to confession, frequently asked questions and an examination of the conscience to ease fears or answer questions about the sacrament. A Spanish-language version of the website is also available. Priests may also visit the site for parish resources. With every parish in the Diocese open for confessions on Monday evenings, people who may not feel comfortable going to confession to their own parish priest can simply visit a nearby church or even visit a parish on their way home from work. “Recently in Colombia Our Holy Father said that Reconciliation ‘is not an abstract word.’ This is why we will have every Catholic parish in the Diocese of Paterson open every Monday night in Lent offering this great gift,” said Father Corcoran. “Like the prodigal son barely able to confess his sins, we, at times, are ashamed and even afraid to name those evils that separate us from God who loves us so much. But the Father is not ashamed to recognize us as his own son or daughter. He longs to wrap his arms around us. He is waiting to welcome us home. “Now is the time to meet the Lord in Confession and know the joy of coming home,” the Bishop wrote. [Information: http://www.welcomehometohealing.org.]
Published by The Beacon. View All Articles.