The Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev Michael Campbell OSA has announced the launch of a Lenten initiative: The Light Is On For You, to promote the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Every Wednesday of Lent, from 29 February to the Wednesday of Holy Week, 4 April, every Catholic Church in the Diocese of Lancaster will be open from 7pm to 8pm for parishioners to go to Confession.
Bishop Campbell said: “During the Lenten season, in a particular way we will invite those who seek to strengthen their relationship with the Lord to join us in this celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Our priests are here to welcome you home, to pray with you, to be of service in the name of Jesus Christ, who offers all of us forgiveness for our sins and the gift of His mercy and love.”
A new The Light Is On For You! section of the diocesan website has been added which includes information on the Sacrament of Confession including various Examinations of Conscience, the Act of Contrition, videos and other resources. Posters and flyers have already been sent to all parishes and Catholic schools of the Diocese promoting the initiative. In February adverts will be placed in local newspapers and the other local media will be contacted.
Bishop Campbell said: “Confession gives us the chance to start over, to hit the ‘reset’ button of our lives. It shows how forgiving and compassionate our God is and it helps us to grow in concern and love for others. Come to Confession this Lent and receive God’s mercy, for peace of mind and to deepen your friendship with Jesus, to receive spiritual healing and to increase your sense of joy and to experience Christ’s saving grace.”
As a preliminary to the upcoming Year of Faith (October 2012 to November 2013) announced by Pope Benedict XVI last year, The Light Is On For You! is part of the Diocese of Lancaster’s practical attempt to reach out to those who may have wandered from the life of the Church. In response to those who feel it has been too long since their last confession or that God could not possibly forgive them, Bishop Campbell added: “God’s love for you is greater than all the sins you’ve committed or could ever commit. Now is the time to come and have God take away the burdens of guilt that can often weigh us down. If you’ve been waiting for a sign to return to the Church or to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, this is your chance to re-establish and strengthen a relationship with God that will last forever”.