WOONSOCKET — For the past two decades, parish volunteers and parish priests have offered a welcoming invitation to Saint Joseph Church, an invitation to return to the Lord in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. While it may seem difficult to confess your sins, especially if it’s been a while, the annual All-Day Confessions event has helped to make those first steps back that much easier.
Each Lent, the parish hosts an All-Day Confessions event, a day which provides local Catholics the opportunity to go to confession on a day specifically designed to alleviate any uneasiness they may have about confessing.
In prior years, as many as 300 people have taken part in a single day and in 20 years of this special event, there’s no doubt thousands have found God's mercy and forgiveness through the sacrament.
The All-Day Confessions event is designed to address the fears that many people have about returning to this sacrament after years away. Organizers say it is a remarkable day with hundreds of people "seeking and finding forgiveness."
This year, the All-Day Confessions will be held on Saturday, March 25, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Volunteers will be available to answer questions, written instructions will be provided, and up to four priests will be available at all times. Each confessional is equipped for both screen and face-to-face options. Signs will be posted to clearly indicate where to wait, and music will be playing to ensure that voices will not be heard by others.
“It’s a beautiful witness of God’s mercy and it shows that our Church is still alive and flourishing,” said Father Ryan Simas, pastor of Saint Joseph Church.
Father Simas explained that for some who have been away from the sacrament for a long time, they may be too nervous to go to their parish priest. But, with more than a dozen local priests in total taking part throughout the day, at least four per hour, this is an avenue to get Catholics where they need to be in their spiritual journey and make it as comfortable as possible.
“There is no sin the Lord can’t forgive — no matter how long you’ve been away or how often you come. This is a beautiful way to prepare for Easter. As John Paul II said, ‘Be not afraid.’ Come experience for yourself.”
Call the church at 401-766-0626 for more information.
SOME ALL-DAY CONFESSIONS THROUGHOUT THE DIOCESE:
Saturday, March 25, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Saint Joseph Church, 1200 Mendon Rd, Woonsocket, RI.
Saturday, March 25, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Our Lady of Mercy Church, 65 Third St., East Greenwich, RI.
Saturday, April 1, from 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., Saint Philip Church, 622 Putnam Pike, Greenville, RI.