Virtual interactions have become a regularity, and some Catholics are struggling to keep themselves afloat in a world where people seem so disconnected because of social distancing.
Community is a basic element of what it means to be Catholic since the word “catholic” literally means “universal.” The faithful long for others and all are part of the body of Christ. The pandemic has hit hard at this core value.
The sacraments draw Catholics to the Lord and to one another, and one sacrament in particular invites a literal conversation with someone: reconciliation. In a time when even casual small talk has been made more difficult, a strong, healthy and genuine conversation with someone is the remedy.
Everyone is a sinner, Father Polycarp Fernando, a parochial vicar at St. Vincent de Paul Parish and Father Thomas Shoemaker, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish, both in Fort Wayne, said. So, this one-on-one conversation is something to which all Catholics are invited. “Reconciliation is important at any stage, season or time of our life. In other words, it is important all the time,” said Father Fernando.
Created especially for those who have not received the cleansing grace of the sacrament of reconciliation for a while, The Light Is On For You is an opportunity in all parishes across the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend to do so. Scheduled in each parish at the same time and on the same day, the confessions of those who have been away from the Church will be heard. The Light Is On For You takes place Tuesday, March 9, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“The general purpose of The Light Is On For You is to highlight the sacrament of reconciliation in a way that especially calls to the sacrament Catholics who have been away for a long time from the sacrament or even from the Church,” said Father Mark Gurtner, vicar general of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and pastor of Our Lady of Good Hope Parish, Fort Wayne.
It’s definitely not too late. It’s never too late.
“Come back,” said Father Shoemaker “You will leave with a weight lifted from your life and with a sense of peace unlike any other.”
Father Gurtner offered these words of encouragement: “Be not afraid! Christ’s merciful love is waiting for you!”
The light has been left on those who are looking for the path back home. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life,” quoted Father Fernando from John 8:12.
This “light” is “the light of God’s love, which beckons us to turn from our sins and to receive His mercy,” Father Gurtner added.
“The ‘light’ is Christ Himself. His light guides us through everything that life brings,” said Father Shoemaker.
Come home. Come and rejoin a community of imperfect people who are striving together to become holier men and women of Christ. Come and talk to Jesus, no matter the amount of time that has passed by. The light is on, and He is here.
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