TRENTON, NJ - Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., announced Feb. 19 that the Diocese of Trenton will join the worldwide Catholic community in observing 24 Hours for the Lord, an initiative requested by Pope Francis and set for March 9 and 10.

In his 2018 Lenten message, Pope Francis invited dioceses, parishes and faith communities to join him in the initiative for the second consecutive year.  He asked that at least one church in each diocese remain open for 24 consecutive hours over the prescribed dates.  During this time, the faithful will have the opportunity to pray before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, reserved in the tabernacle or exposed in the monstrance. Confessions will also be made available during this period.

This program, said Pope Francis, “invites the entire Church community to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the context of Eucharistic Adoration.”  The theme guiding this year’s reflection is “With you is forgiveness” (Psalm 130:4). 

At Bishop O’Connell’s invitation, 10 parishes in the Diocese, at least two in each of the four counties, have agreed to participate and keep their churches open March 9 and 10.  Extending the sentiments of the Holy Father, Bishop O’Connell encourages the faithful of the Diocese "to take advantage of this time of special grace and penance.”

Participating Monmouth County parishes and their schedules are as follows:

Holy Cross, Rumson

30 Ward Avenue

  • Adoration begins in church after 9 a.m. Mass Friday, March 9 and continues until 9 a.m. Saturday, March 10
  • Confessions begin in church 9:30 until 11 a.m. and resume in Pastor’s office 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Friday, March 9; Stations of the Cross in church 7 p.m. Friday, March 9
  • Confessions resume in church 7 until 11 p.m., Friday, March 9; Confessions continue in church 7 a.m. until 9 a.m., Saturday, March 10

Nativity, Fair Haven

180 Ridge Road

  • Adoration begins in church noon Friday, March 9 and continues until noon Saturday, March 10
  • Lenten Meal in Hall, 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 9
  • Stations of the Cross, 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 9
  • Confessions begin noon and continue until 9 p.m., Friday, March 9; Confessions resume 6 a.m., Saturday, March 10 and continue until noon

St. Mary Mother of God, Middletown

19 Cherry Tree Farm Road

  • Adoration begins in church 7 p.m. Friday, March 9 and continues until 7 p.m. Saturday, March 10
  • Confessions begin in church 7 p.m. Friday, March 9 and continue until 7 p.m. Saturday, March 10

St. Michael, West End

800 Ocean Avenue

  • Adoration begins in church 9 a.m. Friday, March 9 and continues until 9 a.m. Saturday, March 10
  • Lenten Soup and Salad Supper in Church Hall, 6 p.m. Friday, March 9
  • Stations of the Cross, 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 9
  • Confessions begin 1 p.m. and continue until 9 p.m. Friday, March 9; Confessions resume 6 a.m. Saturday, March 10 and continue until 9 a.m.