Priests will be available for confession throughout a special 24-hour period in the Diocese of Bismarck to help celebrate the Year of Mercy.
Bismarck’s Cathedral of the Holy Spirit will host “24 Hours of Mercy” on March 4-5. There will be Eucharistic adoration, as well as two priests at the cathedral each hour to hear confessions.
The event will begin at 5 p.m. Friday and end at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Fr. Nick Schneider, director of the diocese’s Office of Worship, discussed the event.
“Confession is a great gift from God, through which he gives us the assurance of mercy,” he said Feb. 8. “It’s a chance to receive this great gift of mercy together with many others over the course of a day.”
The event will also allow pilgrims to pass through the cathedral’s Holy Door of Mercy, which provides a plenary indulgence for those who are properly disposed.
The event is intended to be part of the Catholic Church’s Year of Mercy, declared by Pope Francis.
Sonia Mullally, the Bismarck diocese’s communications director, told CNA the cathedral's rector, Monsignor Thomas Richter, was named a Missionary of Mercy. These are priests who will have the faculties to absolve sins otherwise reserved to the Holy See.
Msgr. Richter was commissioned by Pope Francis in Rome on Ash Wednesday.
Mullally pointed to Bishop David Kagan’s Jan. 1 letter discussing the Year of Mercy.
“My daily prayer for all of us is that we truly and fully experience this year of God’s bountiful mercy and that we allow Him to transform us and our daily lives so much so that we become His apostles of mercy to others,” the bishop said. “Every day as we hear the news, it becomes so clear that without Him and His mercy darkness advances, but with Him and His mercy light destroys the darkness of war, hatred, jealousy and division.”
“Please keep and observe this Jubilee of Mercy; and when this year closes, may all of us continue to beg of Him for His mercy, and show mercy to others,” Bishop Kagan added.
Linked to the Year of Mercy, the Bismarck diocese will be hosting its 2016 THIRST Eucharistic Conference Oct. 28-30.
The first conference, held in 2013, drew more than 7,000 people.
The 2016 conference schedule has not been finalized. As of Jan. 28 speakers include Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem; Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Fr. Scott Traynor, Leah Darrow, and Dr. Ray Guarendi.