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This Lent, the Pope has a message for lapsed Catholics: It's never too late


ANN SCHNEIBLE

Source:
CNA
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
2/27/2015

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ABSTRACTThis Lent, the Pope has a message for lapsed Catholics: It's never too late :: Catholic News Agency (CNA) Editors Service About us Donate Spanish Portuguese Loading News Headlines Vatican Americas Asia - Pacific US Europe Middle East - Africa Most Read Most Commented Archive Mandate Resources Abortion Advent Apologetics Benedict XVI Bible Cardinals Catechism Catholic Links Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Holy Week Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Pope Francis Prayers Sacraments Saints Virtue Tools Catholic Podcast RSS Feeds CNA TV CNA Audio Columns Bishops' Corner Book Reviews Cinemazlowski Fr. Robert Barron Guest Columnist In Good Company Led Into the Truth Movie Reviews Russell Shaw The Dispute of the Humanum The New (& the Old) Evangelization The Way of Beauty Viewpoint Documents Pope Benedict XVI Pope John Paul II Pope Paul VI Pope John XXIII Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XI Pope Pius X Pope Leo XIII Vatican II Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith Pontifical Council for the Family United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Cardinal James Francis Stafford Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Bishop Samuel J. Aquila Catholic Womanhood CNA Blog Home » News » Europe This Lent, the Pope has a message for lapsed Catholics: It's never too late Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter's Square during the Wednesday general audience on Dec. 3, 2014. Credit: Bohumil Petrik/CNA. Follow By Ann Schneible Rome, Italy, Feb 27, 2015 / 04:02 am ( CNA/EWTN News ) .- Fallen away Catholics are being invited to “come home” this Lent through a worldwide initiative led by Pope Francis, which points to confession as a primary way to experience God's merciful embrace. “So often, people are afraid to come back to church or to the Sacrament of Reconciliation for they feel that, since they have been gone for so long, there is no way back,” said Father Geno Sylva, English language official for the Vatican's New Evangelization council. “This initiative is to let people know that it is never too late and there is always a way back,” he told CNA. “24 Hours for the Lord” is a yearly event set for the fourth Friday and Saturday of Lent which began in 2014 under the auspices of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. Taking place on Mar. 13-14, this year's theme is “God rich in mercy” (Eph. 2:4) which, Fr. Sylva observed, “is such an important theme of our Holy Father.” In his 2015 message for Lent, Pope Francis expressed his hope that the Church, “also at the diocesan level,” would observe 24-hour initiative, saying it “is meant to be a sign of this need for prayer.” The event will begin on the evening of the fourth Friday of Lent with a penance service presided over by Pope Francis in Saint Peter's Basilica. Following the service in the Vatican, Churches throughout Rome will remain open for 24 hours to give pilgrims the opportunity to go to Confession and take part in Eucharistic Adoration. Fr. Sylva re.......