By Robin Gomes
A remote Indian diocese on Friday joined Pope Francis in observing the “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative. Miao Diocese in Arunachal Pradesh state in the northeastern corner of India joined the worldwide initiative with Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The “24 Hours for the Lord” is an initiative of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization that takes place annually on the Friday and Saturday preceding the Fourth Sunday of Lent.
A church in every diocese around the world is kept open for 24 consecutive hours in spiritual union with the Holy Father in order to offer each faithful all the possibility of a personal experience of God’s mercy.
The motto of the sixth edition this year is taken from the Gospel of John: “Neither do I condemn you” (Jn 8:11).
Pope Francis himself presided over a penitential service on Friday evening in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, opening the “24 Hours for the Lord”.
Leading the service at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Neotan, the biggest Church in Arunachal Pradesh, Auxiliary Bishop Dennis Panipitchai of Miao invited the people to experience the embrace of God in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. “Make this opportunity as a unique occasion to return to the Father”, he said.
The evening service at the village Church saw the participation of more than 300 faithful from around the village. Some of them had to walk a few kilometres from neighbouring villages to join this Lenten spiritual exercise.
“It is a meaningful spiritual journey back the Father during this Lenten season”, said a teary-eyed participant at the end of the Eucharistic Adoration. (Source: Miao Diocese)