How creative! Should more priests do this right now?
Fr. Scott Holmer of St. Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in Bowie, Md. is offering drive-thru confessions to his parishioners after the Archdiocese of Washington suspended all public Masses, effective Mar. 14.
Fr. Holmer issued a statement on his parish’s website explaining that “the Mass is the heart of our life together as Catholics.”
“It is certainly a source of sorrow that none of us are able to attend Mass together because of the health crisis threatening our nation and the world,” he said.
“I would ask you to unite your prayers with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that I will be offering in private by spending some time each day in personal prayer and by continuing to maintain your Lenten discipline of prayer, fasting, and works of mercy.”
The priest then announced that he will offer daily confessions during the time he normally celebrates Mass.
“Since I cannot guarantee your physical safety by opening up the Church or the office to visitors, I have set up a ‘drive through confessional’ and will be hearing confessions in the Church parking lot to maintain a six-foot distance while penitents stay in their cars,” Fr. Holmer said.
Fr. Holmer added that Seminarian Joseph McHenry will direct traffic. The priest will also blindfold his face for those wishing to go “behind-the-screen.”
“This is turning out to be a Lent unlike any other,” Fr. Holmer said. “I believe the Lord is inviting us to an increased concern for the welfare of our neighbors and offering us the opportunity to make sacrifices for them. What a great Lenten penance for us all.”