Diocesan-wide opportunity for Confession March 21-22

With Holy Week fast approaching, it is not too late to ponder how well prepared we are for the Resurrection of the Lord on Easter Sunday.

One way to help in this effort is through participating in the Sacrament of Reconciliation as the precept of confessing grave sins and receiving Holy Communion at least once during the Lenten Season merits a reminder to all.

To facilitate this requirement, the Diocese of Venice will have the Sacrament of Reconciliation available at the same time at ALL Parishes to allow the faithful ample opportunity to receive God’s Mercy. To make this opportunity as convenient as possible, in consultation with the Diocesan Presbyteral Council, Bishop Frank J. Dewane has designated the following days and times for Confession at Each Parish: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Friday, March 22, 2024, and from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, March 23, 2024.

Bishop Dewane said that many people view the idea of confessing one’s sins as so unbearable that they either completely avoid the Sacrament or go infrequently.

“It is heartbreaking to hear from those who have avoided confession for many years after carrying around a burden,” Bishop Dewane said. “It is heartwarming to talk to people of all ages who go to confession and are relieved and overjoyed at the benefits. Some even scold themselves for missing such a beautiful Sacrament for so long.”

Throughout the Lenten Season, Parishes have offered extended hours for the Sacrament, in addition to offering Penance Services, where multiple priests from the region were made available to hear confessions.

Pope Francis often speaks about the healing benefits of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, explaining that he goes about once every two weeks.

“In Confession, let’s give God first place,” the Holy Father said. “Once He is in charge, everything becomes beautiful and confession becomes the Sacrament of joy, not of fear and judgement, but of joy.”

As the Catechism teaches, the priest is acting in Persona Christi, that is in the person of Christ, within the confessional. So, like presenting oneself at the altar to be nourished by Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist, a person going to confession is not ultimately confessing to a priest, but confessing to and receiving forgiveness from Jesus Christ.

“The Lord comes to us when we step back from our presumptuous ego… He can bridge the distance whenever, with honesty and sincerity, we bring our weaknesses before him,” Pope Francis said. “He holds out his hand and lifts us up whenever we realize we are ‘hitting rock bottom’ and we turn back to him with a sincere heart. That is how God is. He is waiting for us, deep down, for in Jesus he chose to ‘descend to the depths.’”

The Pope emphasized that God waits for us, especially in the Sacrament of Penance, where he said the Lord touches our wounds, heals our hearts, and leaves us with inner peace.

Please contact your local Parish for additional available confession times.

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