Nine Nights of Night Prayer returns for a sixth round March 17-25 in nine churches across the Diocese of Cleveland. The event began in August 2021 as an opportunity for people to experience the Night Prayer, said Father Damian Ference, vicar for evangelization and head of the diocesan Parish Life and Special Ministries’ office. The nine-day sessions always end on a Marian feast day: the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Aug. 15), Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8) and the Annunciation (March 25).
“All are invited to experience the peace and serenity of Night Prayer,” Father Ference said.
He explained that nine different parishes would host the sessions, which begin at 8:15 p.m. each evening. Hosts for this round are:
- Our Lady Help of Christians Parish, (Lodi worship site) 8240 Buffham Road, Lodi
- Mary Queen of the Apostles Parish, 6455 Engle Road, Brook Park
- La Sagrada Familia Parish, 7719 Detroit Ave., Cleveland
- St. Agnes/Our Lady of Fatima Parish, 6800 Lexington Ave., Cleveland
- St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish, 2640 Stoney Ridge Road, Avon
- St. Mel Parish, 14436 Triskett Road, Cleveland
- St. Noel Parish, 35200 Chardon Road, Willoughby Hills
- St. Patrick Parish, 16550 Rock Creek Road, Thompson
- St. Paul Parish, 433 Mission Drive, Akron
“‘Nine Nights of Night Prayer’ is a unique opportunity to open up nine of our beautiful churches in the evenings for an experience of beauty, community, Scripture and tradition,” Father Ference said, noting that Pope Francis reminds us that prayer “appeases anger, sustains love, multiplies joy and instills the strength to forgive.”
Night Prayer is part of the Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office, by which the people of God sanctify the day by continual praise of God and prayers of intercession for the needs of the world, he added.
Pastors who previously hosted Nine Nights of Night Prayer said they were pleased by the turnout and the opportunity to help people become familiar with this prayer opportunity.
“It was a huge success at our parish,” said Father Rob Ramser, pastor of Our Lady of Angels Parish in Cleveland’s West Park neighborhood. He noted it attracted some people who had been away from the Church for a while. “We had people wanting to know more about the Liturgy of the Hours, Mass times and about the parish.”
Father Bill Thaden, pastor of Sacred Heart Chapel in Lorain, said his parish has a large Hispanic population. “We offered the Night Prayer in Spanish,” he said. The sessions included music and he invited different parishioners to assist with the readings.
Father Ference invited everyone to participate, either at the same church every night or by visiting different churches each of the nine nights.
As has become tradition, a special Marian-themed ice cream will be produced by Country Parlour Ice Cream. Each host parish will receive ice cream that will be shared during a social on March 25 after prayer concludes. The special flavor for round six is “Theotokos,” which is Greek for God bearer or Mother of God, Father Ference said.