Confessions in all parishes of the diocese on March 6, 6-8 p.m.
Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades has designated Wednesday, March 6, from 6-8 p.m., “as the date and time for all the churches of our diocese to be open for prayer and am asking all our priests to hear individual confessions during that two-hour time period,” he wrote in a letter to priests.
The initiative is called “The Light Is On for You” and will offer Catholics of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend the availability of the sacrament of Reconciliation.
Confession provides an opportunity to set aside sinful ways and to draw closer to the Lord.
“The Light Is On For You” is endorsed by the U.S. bishops and is an invitation to all Catholics of the diocese to stop in church for prayer and provides the opportunity for Confession. The program began in the Archdiocese of Washington and has been adopted by other dioceses with much success. With this program, all parishes in a diocese open their churches on a particular evening for Confessions.
The U.S. bishops released an exhortation encouraging the faithful to avail themselves to the sacrament of Penance during Lent of 2013.
“The Light Is On For You” is for Catholics who frequent Confession, but is also an opportunity for Catholics who may be reluctant to come to the sacrament, have been away for some time, or just find it difficult to get to a Saturday afternoon Confession time. It is an opportunity for Catholics to reconnect with Christ and His Church.
For those who have been away from the sacrament for some time, churches will have Reconciliation brochures available for helpful “how-to” guidance.
They are encouraged to invite their family and friends who have been away from the sacrament to take part.
“Imagine the sense of welcome and hope they would experience if they walked into a church filled with people praying and meditating in silence in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament,” one bulletin promotion announcement said.
Parishes across the diocese also offer Confession on a weekly basis. St. Gaspar del Bufalo in Rome City offers the sacrament after Masses, on Saturdays from 3:30 to 4 p.m. and by appointment. In addition to “The Light Is On For You” on March 6, the parish, like many others, will offer a Reconciliation Service on March 12 at 6:30 p.m. with several priests available. Many of the parishes provided their Lenten and weekly Confession schedules in the Feb. 10 issue of Today’s Catholic. Confession schedules for parishes are also available online at www.todayscatholicnews.org.
Benedictine Father Bernard Ramenaden, pastor of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, in the church bulletin stated: “We welcome this time as a time to seek conversion and reconciliation. It is good for us to know that Jesus before us has successfully faced the illusions and the misleading attractions of a world estranged from God.”
For the deaf in the community, the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, St. Matthew Cathedral, St. Jude, Fort Wayne, St. John the Evangelist, Goshen, Our Lady of Hungary, South Bend and Ss Peter and Paul, Huntington.
The March 6 date will be a “concerted diocesan effort to highlight the sacrament of Penance,” Bishop Rhoades said. “It is not meant to replace Penance services or other regularly scheduled Confession times.”
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