In a special way this Lent, the parishes of the Diocese of Columbus are celebrating the sacrament of reconciliation whereby Christ’s forgiveness is extended to repentant sinners who confess their sins to a priest. On the Monday of Holy Week, March 29, priests will be available in most of the churches of the diocese between 4pm to 7pm for the sacrament of reconciliation or confession. Some parishes will make the sacrament available for a longer time period that day. Churches where the sacrament will be available will have a special notice outside to promote the event. This special time for confession is in addition to the parish’s normal Lenten confession times.
Bishop Robert Brennan invites all, especially those who have fallen away from the practice of regular confession, to the sacrament this Lent stating, “One of the gifts that the Lord gave to His church is the sacrament of reconciliation.” Bishop Brennan continues, “I go to confession so that I can offer to God in a real way a tangible way my sorrow, but even more importantly that I can experience not in a theoretical kind of a way, but in a very personal direct way those words of forgiveness and absolution. I’m sorry. You are forgiven.”
The reason for this Lenten campaign is twofold. The first reason for Reconciliation Monday confessions throughout the diocese is to prepare for planning for the future presence of the Church and her mission to evangelize in the local community. Bishop Brennan’s stated goal for planning in the diocese is to “build belief and reliance on the Eucharist through opportunities for adoration, confession, and a return to public worship.” Encountering Jesus Christ in the sacrament of reconciliation and public repentance of the church opens the diocese to the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Second, emerging from the COVID pandemic, it is an opportunity for those who have not gone to confession in sometime to return to the sacrament. Many have not yet returned from the temporary halt to public sacraments. This special time of reconciliation is an invitation for all Catholics to remember the importance of Christ’s mercy in the sacrament. “I go to confession because I sin and we’re in need of God’s mercy. Every one of us is in profound need of God’s help and mercy along the way,” says Bishop Brennan.
For more information, please visit columbuscatholic.org/monday.