More than 200 Catholic Churches Hold Major Initiative to Invite Catholics Back to Confession

March 01, 2010

People today don’t think twice of telling all on Facebook, so why are they so reluctant to tell God what they did? “The Light is On for You” is designed to change that by inviting Catholics throughout the entire DC metro area to come back to Confession this Lent. Every Catholic church in Washington, DC, northern Virginia and suburban and southern Maryland – over 200 churches – will be open for confessions every Wednesday evening through March 31. “The Light is On for You” is sponsored by the Archdiocese of Washington and Diocese of Arlington.

“In a way, Confession has become a forgotten sacrament,” Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl said in explaining the initiative. “There are a lot of people who aren’t as familiar with it as they ought to be or would like to be.”

In a radio message to area Catholics, Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde said, “The Lord loves you despite any wrong turns you have taken. Whether it has been months or years since your last confession, come back. The Light is On for You!”

Ads for the initiative are running in 400 Metro cars, 45 VRE cars and the backs of over 100 Metro buses in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia, along with radio ads and billboards on Route 301 north of Waldorf and Route 4 in Dunkirk. The ads read, “The Light is On for You: Celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation” and encourage Catholics to visit any Catholic church in the greater DC Metro, Wednesdays in Lent, 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. The website is

Over 100,000 “how to” guides to Confession that include a handy pop-out wallet card with instructions, have been distributed to parishes in English and Spanish. Visitors to the website,, will find invitations from Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl and Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde; an online version of the “how to” guide in multiple languages; answers to frequently-asked questions; prayer resources; links to the parishes; information for Catholics who may have married outside of the Church and more.

Lent, the 40-day penitential period before Easter (April 4 this year) and the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead, was chosen for the campaign because it is a time when Catholics place an extra focus on God’s mercy and forgiveness.

The Archdiocese of Washington is home to 590,000 Catholics living in Washington, DC and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s. The Diocese of Arlington is home to over 428,000 Catholics living in 21 counties across northern Virginia.

Susan Gibbs
Director of Communications
[email protected]