Catholics from throughout the Diocese of Wilmington are invited to receive the sacrament of reconciliation at any of the 56 parish churches in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore on April 11 from 3-8 p.m. during the first-ever diocesan-wide “Reconciliation Monday.”
The event is designed to make it more convenient for Catholics to make confession at the end of Lent and beginning of Holy Week, in anticipation of the celebration of Easter.
“It is traditional and desirable for Catholics to receive the sacrament of reconciliation during Lent,” said Bishop Koenig. “By establishing ‘Reconciliation Monday’ in our diocese, we are making it easier for parishioners to experience the loving forgiveness of God. We are hoping that people who have fallen away from their faith will use this opportunity to prepare their hearts for a return to Mass at Easter. We invite all Catholics — whether it has been months, years, or decades since their last confession — to take advantage of this diocesan-wide event in which all of our priests will participate.”
“Reconciliation Monday” was implemented years ago in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y., where Bishop Koenig served as a pastor before being appointed bishop of Wilmington by Pope Francis last year. Over the years it has grown to be a popular annual event in New York, held the day after Palm Sunday.
All parishes in the Diocese of Wilmington offer reconciliation on a regular basis. Many parishes offer penance services during Lent. This will be the first time in diocesan history, that all parishes will hold concurrent confessions. While all parishes will participate, it is not possible for every mission church in the diocese to hold confessions due to the limited number of priests. Parishioners are encouraged to check their local parish website or www.cdow.org/ReconciliationMonday before heading out.
According to the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, Jesus entrusted the ministry of reconciliation to the church. The sacrament of penance (reconciliation or confession) is God’s gift to humanity so that any sin committed after baptism can be forgiven. Confession offers the opportunity to repent and recover the grace of friendship with God. It is a holy moment in which individuals place themselves in God’s presence and honestly acknowledge their sins, especially mortal sins. Absolution brings reconciliation with God and the church.
The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington was established in 1868 and comprises 56 parishes, 18 missions and 27 schools serving Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. There are more than 240,000 Catholics in the diocese.