PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The rector of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul on the Ben Franklin Parkway is launching what he says is a new tradition to usher in the new year.

Father Gill says at the stroke of midnight as people are welcoming 2018, there will be a mass in the Cathedral Basilica to mark the new year.

“This is the first time that I can remember there being a midnight mass for New Year’s here at the cathedral, perhaps at one time in the past but I just think it’s the right time to do it,” he said.

Gill says all are welcome to attend the mass and bring their needs to the Holy Family during this Christmas season.

“Why not begin the new year with God?,” he said. “That’s why we’re having a midnight mass. Hopefully the whole year will be a year lived with God, and so the very first hour should be that way.”

Gill says the cathedral is making a statement by being accessible to people on this special night.