PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is joining in a worldwide Lenten event this coming weekend to put some extra emphasis on his declaration of a Year of Mercy by the pope.

Father Dennis Gill, rector of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul and director of the archdiocesan office for Divine Worship, is coordinating the event. He says Archbishop Charles Chaput is asking pastors to open their churches Friday evening through Saturday evening this weekend. Gill says Pope Francis wants the faithful to turn away from sin and to seek God’s mercy.

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“He wanted these two days available to faithful everywhere for increased opportunities for the sacrament of Penance and reconciliation,” he says, “and also for time for prayer before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.”

Gill says the pope wants Catholics to view Lent as an opportunity for conversion and embracing Divine mercy. At the Cathedral, Gill says activity will begin Friday at 5:15 p.m. and conclude Saturday with the 5:15 p.m. Mass.

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Click here to find a participating parish near you.


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