More than 200 Catholic Churches Launch Initiative to Invite Catholics Back to Confession

March 09, 2011

People today don’t think twice of telling all in a status update or a tweet, so why are they so reluctant to tell God? “The Light is On for You” is designed to change that hesitation by inviting Catholics to come back to Confession this Lent. All Catholic churches in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area and Northern Virginia, more than 200 churches in total, will be open on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8 p.m. for confession and quiet prayer. “The Light is On for You” is sponsored by the Archdiocese of Washington and Diocese of Arlington and will run from March 16 – April 20, 2011.

“Two thousand years ago, Jesus came to tell us how it is that we make our way through life and its many crosses and how these crosses can become our pathway to eternal life” said Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, in a Lenten reflection. “The spiritual dimension of our existence is what Lent is all about. It is the quiet, persistent reminder that what we do in the short time given us must be done with selflessness and with great love.”

“Have you been weighed down by missteps and mistakes? Are you ready to lay down that burden but unsure of whom can help carry the load?” Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde asks in a radio message to air during the campaign. “In your search for healing and rest, know that there is no better way to find peace than through Our Lord Jesus Christ, who takes our burdens upon Himself and makes them light.”

Ads for the initiative are running on Facebook, in Metro and VRE cars and on the backs of Metro buses in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. Radio ads are playing throughout the DC metro area; and print ads are running in Virginia and on 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. 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 Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, and Bishop Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of Arlington; an online version of the “how-to” guide in multiple languages; answers to frequently-asked questions; prayer resources; links to the parishes; and information for Catholics who may have married outside of the Church.

Lent, the 40-day penitential period before Easter (April 24, 2011) and the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection from the dead, was chosen as the time period for this initiative because it is a season when Catholics place an extra focus on God’s mercy and forgiveness.

The Archdiocese of Washington is home to nearly 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 450,000 Catholics living in 21 counties and seven cities across northern Virginia.

Brie Hall
Office of Communications
[email protected]