For a variety of reasons, “The Light is On for You” is cancelled for Lent 2020. The initiative, held during Advent and Lent, invites all Maine Catholics to experience God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness through the sacrament of reconciliation. This decision is based on the inability to gather people safely in our churches, the privacy that is required of the sacrament, and the inability to clean the confessional (which is often a small, closed-in space). Many of the faithful may be asking themselves, “How can my sins be forgiven?” It is the consistent teaching and practice of the Church (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph no. 1452), that when it is impossible to receive sacramental absolution, a penitent should offer a perfect act of contrition (that is, for the love of God above all else).
“Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible” (cf. Council of Trent, 1551).
Several parishes are still offering the opportunity for confessions outdoors through drive-thru confessions:
Fr. Kyle Doustou will offer confession in a drive-thru format at Holy Family Church parking lot on Brunswick Street in Old Town on Saturday, March 28, at 3 p.m., Monday, March 30, at 6 p.m., Friday, April 3, at 6 p.m., and Saturday, April 4, at 3 p.m.; at the Newman Center parking lot on College Avenue in Orono on Tuesday, March 31, at 6 p.m.; at St. Ann Church on Down Street in Indian Island on Wednesday, April 1, at 6 p.m.; and at St. Ann Church on Main Street in Bradley on Thursday, April 2, at 6 p.m.
Fr. Phil Tracy will offer the sacrament of reconciliation in a drive-thru format at Holy Martyrs Church on 266 Foreside Road in Falmouth on Saturdays from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. People can drive up with Fr. Tracy hearing confessions at a safe distance near the automobiles.
Fr. Paul Marquis will offer the sacrament of reconciliation in a drive-thru format in the parking lot of Sacred Heart Church on 326 Main Street in Yarmouth on Saturdays from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Fr. Seamus Griesbach will offer the sacrament of reconciliation in a similar drive-thru format. Fr. Griesbach will hear confessions from the window of the rectory, located next to the Our Lady of the Rosary Parish sign on 131 High Street in Sabattus, on Mondays through Fridays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Confessors need only drive up the driveway, keep their window down, and enjoy informational signs while they wait.
Fr. Aaron Damboise will offer the sacrament of reconciliation in a drive-thru format at Holy Family Church on 145 Pritham Avenue in Greenville on Saturdays at 3 p.m. and at St. Anthony of Padua Parish on 370 Main Street in Jackman on Sundays at 10:30 a.m.