He’s offering forgiveness — to go!
A Maryland priest is running a drive-through confessional to help parishioners repent hygienically as the coronavirus pandemic rages, according to a report Wednesday.
“We’re flying by the seat of our pants here, just trying to figure out how to do this,” the Rev. Scott Holmer of St. Edward the Confessor Parish in Bowie told told the Catholic Standard.
“We priests have to be creative about how to bring Christ to people when we can’t do that in our church buildings.”
After services nationwide were canceled due to no-gathering rules, Holmer staged the sacred set-up by blindfolding himself, placing a chair in the church parking lot and asking an elderly volunteer to direct traffic, he told the outlet.
The on-the-go confessional is in a setting that’s free of surfaces such as kneelers, chairs and doorknobs that could spread the virus, he said.
“We need to bring Christ to people now, to bring him to others in a safe way that won’t increase infection,” he said. “That little car becomes the little confessional seat.”
And there’s no need for holy “rollers” to leave their cars unless they arrive with more than one person and want privacy, Holmer said. He’s also offering a Eucharistic procession on the streets of Bowie during Lent.
On Sunday, the New York Archdiocese shut down services at all of its 296 parishes — including Manhattan’s majestic St. Patrick’s Cathedral — due to coronavirus concerns.
Other states, including New Jersey, California and Ohio, have implemented no-gathering rules that have caused Masses to be canceled.