March 13, 2017 – Festival of Forgiveness set for March 31

Categories: News Releases / Statements


Diocese of St. Cloud  


Joe Towalski
Director of Communications
(O) 320-258-7624

March 13, 2017


Catholics throughout the Diocese of St. Cloud will celebrate a “Festival of Forgiveness” on Friday, March 31, to help every person experience the life-changing power of God’s love and mercy.

On this date, the sacrament of reconciliation will be available for a 12-hour period at designated churches throughout the 16-county diocese. Participating churches may
choose to offer additional prayer opportunities as part of the March 31 event.

The Festival of Forgiveness comes during Lent, a penitential season before Easter when Christians are encouraged to enter more deeply into prayer, fasting and charitable works.

This is the second consecutive year that churches in the diocese are hosting the celebration. An estimated 3,000 confessions were heard throughout the diocese on the festival day last March. Pastors reported that many of the people who attended had been away from the sacrament for years, some for decades.

In his 2016 pastoral letter on mercy, “Be Merciful, Just as Your Father is Merciful,” St. Cloud Bishop Donald Kettler urged priests of the diocese and parishes to invite all Catholics “to experience again the love and mercy of God through the sacrament of reconciliation” and to “make a special effort to invite those who may not have received the sacrament for some time or who may feel alienated from the Church for any reason.”

“In the sacrament of reconciliation, Christ invites us on a journey to new life,” he said. “No action and no person is beyond the mercy of God and his eagerness to be reconciled with each of us.”

Ten churches around the diocese will host the Festival of Forgiveness and offer the sacrament of reconciliation. The locations and times are as follows:

• St. Mary, Alexandria 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Sts. Peter and Paul, Richmond 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
• Our Lady of Victory, Fergus Falls 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• St. Ann, Wadena 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Christ Our Light, Princeton 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• St. Mary, Little Falls 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
• Sts. Peter and Paul, Gilman 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
• Sacred Heart, Freeport 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• St. Paul, Sauk Centre 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Cathedral of St. Mary, St. Cloud 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The cathedral also will host additional prayer and other activities during this time:
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. – Adoration
9 a.m. – Morning prayer
12:05 p.m. – Mass
2 p.m. – Holy rosary
3 p.m. – Chaplet of Divine Mercy
5:30 p.m. – Stations of the Cross
6 p.m. – Soup supper
7 p.m. – Taize prayer
9 p.m. – Benediction