As we prepare to enter the season of Lent I want to bring your attention to an annual event held each year in the Diocese of Cleveland. The event is the “Evening of Confession.” Throughout our Diocese, on Wednesday, March 15 from 5:00-8:00pm every parish will be offering the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The hope that the diocese has, and the hope that I have, is that every person will take advantage of this beautiful gift of healing. I am inviting you, the parishioners of the parish to join others as we celebrate this wonderful day. Last year I was overjoyed to spend four and half hours in the confessional. After I was finished, my eyes were filled with tears, and I was overflowing with gratitude to our Lord since I knew that many sons and daughters had returned to the faith and expressed their desire to receive the mercy of God. Would you be willing to join me this year? I am hoping that I have to spend five hours in the confessional, simply because there is no more incredible way to spend my time than helping others surrender to God’s mercy.
As we did last year, I will offer Eucharistic Adoration from 4:00-9:00pm. I am asking that everyone join us for Adoration, even if you have been to confession recently. Use this time to worship our Eucharistic Lord and offer your prayers for those who are coming to celebrate the Sacrament of Confession on this special Evening of Confession. As I prepare for this night, I am asking that you also prepare with me. And this is what I am asking you to do:
The first is that I am asking you to please fast, either on the day of the Evening of Confession or the day before, and offer that fast for hearts to be open to receiving the mercy of God. A fast could be: the elimination of caffeine for the day, not eating between meals, or simply eating only bread and water. Why fast? When we fast we join in a more intense way our prayers to God.
The second is to pray. I will be offering a novena, following the Masses, beginning on Monday, March 6 and will conclude on Tuesday, March 14. The novena will be through Our Lady, Undoer of Knots. My request is that our prayers will unite with Our Blessed Mother’s as we ask Her Son to intercede for all who will be celebrating the sacrament of confession.
The final thing is to invite. Please let everyone know about this opportunity to celebrate the sacrament of confession. Your personal invitation will help others recognize that confession is not about making someone feel ashamed; rather, it is all about helping one recognize that they are indeed loved by the Lord. I know that you know of someone who could benefit from this sacrament so please invite them.
As we prepare to enter into this time of Lent the theme of Mercy is mentioned over and over again. I hope that you will take time during the Evening of Confession and come back to confession. Again, this opportunity is for you and for anyone who has been away from the sacrament of confession for some time. I am requesting your presence, and be assured of my gratitude for making this night a time of reconciliation with the Lord. You remain in my prayers.
May the Lord Bless You and Keep You,
Fr. Timothy Kalista