.- The Cathedral of St. Patrick Young Adults and the Archdiocese of New York have announced a â24 Hours of Confessionâ program to make the Sacrament available round-the-clock in Manhattan from March 6 to March 7.
The program will begin at 7:00 a.m. on Friday, March 6 and last through 7:00 a.m. Saturday.
The Cathedral of St. Patrick and 20 other area parishes are participating in the event. Many parishes have extended their hours for hearing confessions for those Catholics who have not found time for the Sacrament.
Participating parishes will keep their confessional doors open for a combined total of more than 120 hours during the 24-hour period.
"Thousands upon thousands of Catholics line-up to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday each year... imagine if these same thousands of Catholics line-up for confession? It could be a tremendous day for Our Lord," said Mario Bruschi, Director of the Cathedral of Saint Patrick Young Adults.
Bruschi noted that in 2007 the Archdiocese of Chicago had organized a â24 Hours of Graceâ event with seven parishes participating. About 2,500 people attended Confession, which equals about 105 people per hour.
âThe Archdiocese of New York has three times the amount of parishes participating in this event and we hope and pray that three times the amount of people go to confession.â
CNA, speaking with Bruschi by phone on Friday, noted New York Cityâs nickname as âThe City that Never Sleepsâ and asked him whether participating parishes are in areas frequented at nighttime.
âSeveral of these parishes are in areas that are pretty busy at night,â Bruschi said, naming St. Patrickâs Cathedral, Holy Name of Jesus on the west side and St. Stanislaus Kostka in Greenwich Village, which is âalways full of activity at night.â
Speaking from his own experience, Bruschi told CNA that he first began to appreciate Confession in high school.
âThose are tough years for anyone. Thereâs a lot of peer pressure, adjusting to your environment, adjusting to your age. There are a lot of challenges we all face.â
He invoked the imagery of a scene in Mel Gibsonâs movie the Passion of the Christ where Mary Magdalene is âon the ground, sheâs crawling toward the foot of Jesus, and sheâs holding on to him.
âThatâs a typical penitent.
âWhat does Jesus do? He reaches down and lifts her up again.â
Confession during Lent, Bruschi said, helps make people aware of who they are and âhow much they need Jesus.â
It also helps prepare Catholics mentally for the day that Christ died on the cross and his Resurrection, he told CNA.
Bruschi again credited the Archdiocese of Chicagoâs 24 Hours of Grace program for setting an example for the Manhattan event.
âReading about what Chicago did really inspired us to put this project together. I think Chicago really has started something here.â
A list of Manhattan parishes participating in the 24 Hours of Confession is available at http://www.cspya.org