From the March 2018 edition…
Come home this Lent
Archbishop joins Pope Francis in urging Catholics to return to the confessional
Come home to the open arms of God’s mercy… that’s the powerful message this Lent from Archbishop Tartaglia as he urges a rediscovery of the sacrament of reconciliation.
The Archbishop has written to every parish in the Archdiocese, urging priests to make themselves available with extra generosity for confessions in the weeks leading up to Easter, echoing the Pope’s call in his Lenten message.
St Andrew’s Cathedral will be turned into a sanctuary of mercy on March 22, with confessions being heard from dawn until dusk, with the Archbishop taking his own slot in the rota for hearing confessions.
Archbishop Tartaglia also echoed Pope Francis’s call for greater care for the poor and the environment this Lent as a way of fighting coldness of heart which Pope Francis identified as a dangerous enemy in his Lenten message.
In his letter to the Church released at the start of Lent, the Holy Father said: “In his description of hell, Dante Alighieri pictures the devil seated on a throne of ice, in frozen and loveless isolation. We might well ask ourselves how it happens that charity can turn cold within us. What are the signs that indicate that our love is beginning to cool?”
Archbishop takes up the Pope’s analysis and offers practical guidance this Lent. He said: “The coldness of heart of which the Pope speaks emerges in greed for money, rejection of God and violence against our neighbour, especially the most vulnerable. It is manifested also in reckless damage to the creation and in behaviour which is destructive of community: selfishness, litigiousness and a worldly spirit.
“Against this coldness of heart, Pope Francis proposes the traditional disciplines of Lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. We should gratefully receive the perspectives the Holy Father opens up in his reflection on the spiritual disciplines of Lent … Prayer as a means of exposing and defeating lies and secret forms of self-deception; Almsgiving as a genuine style of life; Fasting as waking us up to God and our neighbour...”
And in a special plea to clergy, the Archbishop said: “Pope Francis identifies a particular moment of grace in Lent, the ‘24 hours for the Lord’ which envisages a day-long celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I think our diocesan response to this initiative can realistically take different forms, but the heart of it must be to offer our people ample opportunity to approach the Sacrament of Confession during Lent.
“I call on you, therefore, to be generous with your arrangements for Confession, certainly offering more times for Confession than usual...”
Throughout Lent confessions are heard daily at St Andrew’s Cathedral from 7.45am–8am; 12.30–1pm and 4.45–5.10pm, with extra slots on Saturdays from 12–1pm and 4–5.15pm.