Light is on for You initiative draws people to confession
When the confessional light was left on from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at about 100 churches in the Denver Archdiocese, Catholics who had been away from the sacrament of reconciliation were drawn back.
“We really hoped to get the message out for people who hadn’t come for a while,” explained Msgr. Thomas Fryar, rector of the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver. “That was the case for me ... several people mentioned they hadn’t been in a while.
“It was a real renewal for them.”
The Light is on for You pastoral initiative was launched in the archdiocese last year. Its roots are in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., which started the campaign in 2005 to increase awareness and participation in the sacrament of reconciliation.
“We had a good turnout,” said Msgr. Fryar, who heard confessions at the cathedral during the initiative, along with Father Michael Bodzioch and Father Matthew Book for nearly three hours straight.
“There was a line for confession most of the afternoon and evening,” Msgr. Fryar said.
Participating parishes displayed a Light is on for You banner to let parishioners and passer-bys know confession was available. Priests helped anyone who had been away from confession for a while or needed assistance with prayers.
“At the end, several said ‘thank you for being here,’” said Msgr. Fryar. “They were grateful.”
Nearly all churches offer confession at least once a week. During Lent, many offer community penance services when they bring in extra priests for confession.