THE LIGHT IS ON FOR YOU
Many moons ago I used this space to announce that on Wednesday evening, March 18th, every parish in the diocese would be open with the lights on and a confessor present t0 hear confessions. An experiment first tried in the Archdiocese of Washington and in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, across the Potomac River, “The Light is on for You” attracted many people to return to the sacrament as it afforded an easy and certain opportunity to experience the sacrament at any Church which was convenient. No one needed to memorize the times of confessions for any one Church, all were open from 5:30pm until 8:00pm. Priests in both of those local Churches indicated that many people chose to return to the sacrament those nights and some offered the reason that not only was it convenient to stop by a Church on the way to and from home, but the anonymity of being in a parish where they were not known was instrumental in their returning to the sacrament.
When I presented the idea to the Priests’ Council, they noted correctly the opportunities during Lent in all their parishes and some expressed some skepticism that the same paradigm would work down here in central Florida. But the Priests’ Council agreed to giving it a try in this diocese and on Wednesday night we will see and in May at the Presbyteral Council meeting we will measure how successful it was. One good confession of someone away a long time made possible because of the convenience of this opportunity would be a key to success to me. I will help them hear at a parish Church myself.
If you find a Church not open and available, I want to know about it. Use the comment section of this blog with the name of the parish and time you attempted and I will personally check into it. This will only work in the big picture if all parishes participate. Remember, on Wednesday night the light shining in the Church is on calling you to come home for Easter.