HARTFORD – “The light is on for you.”
That’s the message being sent throughout the Archdiocese of Hartford as Catholics prepare for Easter by taking advantage of weekly Lenten confessions being offered in every parish from 6-7 p.m. every Monday, in addition to the parish’s regular schedule.
“The very first week of the campaign, a person who had been away from the sacrament for over 20 years told me that they had seen a billboard promoting the Monday night confessions and that it inspired them to come that evening,” said Father Jeffrey V. Romans, assistant chancellor of the archdiocese, who heads the 12-member archdiocesan Lenten committee.
“This is the second year that the archdiocese has promoted the Lenten confession campaign,” he said, “and it gives [us] priests a great sense of joy that people are returning to the sacrament of reconciliation.”
At Our Lady of Pompeii Parish in East Haven, Father John L. Lavorgna, noted, “The Lenten confessions campaign has been a great source of spiritual renewal for everyone involved, on both sides of the altar. For me as a pastor, it has helped me to focus on the beautiful gift of the sacrament, through homilies and conversations with parishioners and others.
“The sessions have provided a wonderful opportunity for quiet reflection,” he said, “and I know many people have come for the sacrament and some have returned other weeks for the private prayer with the Blessed Sacrament.”
As happened last year, the Lenten confession campaign is being actively promoted through billboards, radio announcements, posters, lawn signs, websites, social media and articles in The Catholic Transcript, as well as through reminders from the pulpit and in parish bulletins.
Father Aidan N. Donohue, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Milford, one of the largest in the archdiocese, said, “Our attendance in the church has been good. I’m not sure where all the people are from, but our parishioners like the convenience of it. We have plenty of opportunities for confession here, but this is just one more. I think it’s a good thing.”
The billboards show the image of a church door with a light shining through it and direct motorists to the campaign’s website, www.Light4You.info.
The Lenten campaign is designed to make it easy for people to drive to any church in the Archdiocese of Hartford on their way home from work or from running errands on Mondays and go to confession. It is also serves as a way to welcome those who have not received the sacrament in a while back to the church to experience God’s forgiveness.
“This campaign provides the opportunity in a unique way to help people start over with a clean slate in the eyes of God,” said Father Romans. “What a gift, and it is so encouraging that many are availing themselves of this opportunity to experience God’s mercy.”