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When he asked that churches remain open from March 4-5 as part of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis called it “24 Hours for the Lord”. It’s the people of the Lord who will benefit from the opportunity for prayer, confession and quiet reflection to be offered at St. Anthony Shrine in Cincinnati.
“By calling for an attentive listening to the word of God and encouraging the initiative ‘24 Hours for the Lord’, I sought to stress the primacy of prayerful listening to God’s word, especially his prophetic word,” the Pope said in announcing the event. “The mercy of God is a proclamation made to the world, a proclamation which each Christian is called to experience at first hand.”
And they can experience it at the Shrine any time between the hours of 5 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday thanks to a group of generous volunteers that includes Franciscan Sisters, Secular Franciscans, friars and colleagues in ministry, and the Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati, Joseph Binzer. At the top of the hour, each “leader” will share some form of prayer or devotion. Vicar Frank Jasper will begin the event with the Way of the Cross and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament; Bishop Binzer will close the next day with Benediction. Confessors will be available periodically to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation with those who wish.
“The prayers can be opportunities to pray for situations in our world that need mercy, healing, forgiveness or reconciliation,” according to Provincial Minister Jeff Scheeler.
We asked some of those taking part why they chose to be involved in this special event. Here’s what they told us.
Director of Formation and Ongoing Formation,
Sisters of St. Francis
This is an opportunity for the Franciscan Family to come together in prayer for the world.ﾠ We, the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, want to join with our brothers and sisters.ﾠ The Sisters here at the Motherhouse will be joining all those who gather at the Shrine from 6-7 p.m. Friday as they pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament at that time in our chapel.ﾠ We are appreciative of our Brothers who planned the event for all of us to take part.
Minister, Little Portion Secular
It is a wonderful moment of grace for our fraternity to make a holy hour before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. ﾠSeveral of us make holy hours in perpetual adoration in our chapels. ﾠAlso we need many graces for ourselves and our loved ones, who are astray from the Faith. With God’s help many beautiful blessings will bring us all closer to the Heart of Jesus.
Teacher, spiritual director, retreat director
I chose to participate in 24 Hours for the Lord because I believe that prayer is PRIMARY when it comes to living out our Gospel call to Be Jesus and BRING Jesus into our world today.ﾠ I believe it is impossible to LIVE our Gospel life unless we have a deep RELATIONSHIP with our Loving God, which is what prayer is.
Chair, Dept. of Health Services Administration and Director, Graduate MHSA Program,
The 24 Hours for the Lord event is totally Franciscan in its prayer and community approach, and I haven’t heard of any other doing something similar.ﾠ As a Sylvania, Ohio, Franciscan Sister, I am drawn to this event and enthusiastic about participating.ﾠ It’s so Franciscan not only to offer this prayer opportunity but also to support the mercy effort of our Holy Father, Pope Francis.ﾠ I’m grateful to be included.
Archdiocese of Cincinnati
It’s always humbling to assist with the sacrament of reconciliation, and even more humbling on this special day set aside by Pope Francis during the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy when priests throughout the world will be assisting as requested by the Pope. And one of the most powerful experiences I had with the Sacrament of Reconciliation occurred at St. Anthony Shrine in November 1981 when I made the Cursillo Weekend.ﾠ A caring priest helped me to experience God’s love and mercy, and I’ll never forget that.
Minister, Our Lady of the Angels
Secular Franciscan Fraternity
Our fraternity cherishes every opportunity to be with the Franciscan family. ﾠTheir faith strengthens our own and we hope everyone will benefit by our prayerful presence. ﾠOur times of prayer togetherﾠbrings us peace and much joy, and we hope much glory to God.
Friars are encouraged to come and pray or join the ministry of presence at 24 Hours for the Lord from 5 p.m. Friday, March 4, to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 5 at St. Anthony Shrine in Cincinnati. For more information contact Dan Anderson
at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-721-4700, ext. 3205.
The house in Southfield(For the Year of Mercy, Transfiguration Parish in Southfield, Mich., invited the community to “share an occasion when you felt God’s mercy or offered mercy to someone else.” Fr. Jeremy Harrington sent us this story he received from Mary Schmidt.)
In 1932 the Franciscan Friars at Duns Scotus showed mercy in a powerful and wonderful way when they offered an old farmhouse on their property to our dad and mom. In the depths of the Depression, they had lost their house in the city and needed shelter for their seven children ages 3 to 10 years of age. And because of Daddy’s blindness we continued living there for years with our baby brother.
Meantime we became country kids: We climbed trees, ran around fields, hiked in the woods and picked gallons of thimble berries. And we “toiled” in the garden.
This year I found a picture of this beloved green--shuttered farmhouse. Mom had written a note on the back! It said, “This is the house we have now. Here we can do what we want.”
I now know what this act of mercy really meant to my parents and how their hearts could overflow with gratitude to God, St. Anthony and the Franciscan Friars.
– Mary Schmidt
(Mary’s parents were Secular Franciscans.)
In the last several months, friars from all over the United States have been engaged in conversations about the four models that have been proposed for our future revitalization and restructuring. ﾠThe Interprovincial Team has received the feedback from all the conversations and now shares with us a summary of what we have said (attached to today’s newsletter). ﾠIt really is interesting reading, gathering the comments and insights of the friars about each model. ﾠCan you find your voice? ﾠI encourage you to take the time to read it and discuss it with members of your community. ﾠIt will no doubt help us make a more informed decision through broader fraternal listening and reflection. ﾠIt will be good preparation for the discussion we will have at the All Province Assembly in May. Thanks to the Interprovincial Team and to all who contributed to the dialogue.
— Fr. Jeff Scheeler, OFM
Jack Wintz (seated) returned to Franciscan Media for a birthday celebration.
John Barker, OFM
Al Mascia, OFM
There was heated debate over possible drilling .
Genesis reminded John of “the experience of commitment and care that I received from my Franciscan brother” at a time when he needed it most. Read John’s story at: ctu.edu. John is Assistant Professor of Old Testament Studies at CTU.
Send comments or questions to: email@example.com
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