News & Press

Archdiocese Announces ‘The Light Is On For You” Confession Initiative For Advent

Website now has a ‘Parish Finder’ to help Catholics easily locate Churches along their commute route

Braintree, MA – This Advent Season, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley is extending the successful initiative ‘The Light is On For You’ to encourage reception of the Sacrament of Penance.  On Wednesday December 15 and Wednesday December 22, every parish within the Archdiocese of Boston will be open from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for Catholics to receive this powerful, healing sacrament. 

‘The Light Is On For You’ initiative was first launched this past Lent.  In a November letter to pastors, Cardinal O’Malley remarked about the Lenten results, “Some parishes experienced high numbers of penitents throughout the Lenten season, others reported that participation increased each week and that many people came on the final nights.  Even priests at parishes where there was  lower participation reported the great spiritual value of hearing the confession of just one person who had been away from the Sacrament and the Church for a long time.”

Cardinal O’Malley pointed out the importance of having all priests and parishes involved.  “Essential to the success of this initiative is that all Archdiocesan bishops and priests participate, and that confessions be heard in every worship site in the Archdiocese on December 15 and 22 from 6:30-8:00pm.”  He concluded his letter by stating that “this initiative provides us an important opportunity to fulfill one of the most sacred duties given us at ordination, absolving people of their sins in the name of Jesus Christ.” 

Auxiliary Bishop Robert F. Hennessey was asked by Cardinal O’Malley to continue his leadership of ‘The Light is On For You.’  Bishop Hennessey shared that Advent helps us to celebrate that “Jesus came to the world, at Christmas, to save each one of us.  He loves each of us so much and wants to help us now with whatever issues we face.  He wants to fill us with joy, love and freedom.  He wants you to know that Light always triumphs over Darkness.” 

“During the Advent Season,” Bishop Hennessey added, “we also prepare for the coming again of Jesus in Glory, when He comes on the clouds to be our Judge.  In the Advent Gospels, we are instructed to be watchful and vigilant because we do not know the day or the hour when Christ will return.  We want to be prepared.  Making a good confession regularly is one of the many steps we can take to try to be ready.”

As part of the Advent promotion of this initiative, the Archdiocese announced that PilotParishFinder.com will power a great new tool for Catholics to easily find parishes wherever they are in the Archdiocese.  “Our research from Lent indicated that many of the 30,000 Catholics went to confessions at a parish different from their home parish,” stated Scot Landry, Archdiocesan Secretary for Catholic Media.  “We wanted to develop a tool for the website and for the iPhone that makes it easy for Catholics to locate any of our parishes, particularly those along their commute route after work.  The iPhone app is wonderful, as a Catholic can push one button that will show all the nearby parishes immediately and then, after selecting a parish, push a second button to obtain directions to that parish from one’s current location.”

This new tool will be available on TheLightIsOnForYou.org.  This website for the initiative will also include information on making a good confession, helpful guides for an examination of conscience, videos about the sacrament, and parish resources for promoting the initiative. 

Bishop Hennessey wanted to emphasize the hopes and prayers of priests.  “Every priest in every Church and Chapel in the Archdiocese of Boston will be waiting to welcome you this Advent.  Please see to it that we are busy – share this invite with family and friends by encouraging them to come with you on Wednesday December 15 or Wednesday December 22, from 6:30-8:00pm.” 

About the Archdiocese of Boston:  The Diocese of Boston was founded on April 8, 1808 and was elevated to Archdiocese in 1875. Currently serving the needs of nearly 2 million Catholics, the Archdiocese of Boston is an ethnically diverse and spiritually enriching faith community consisting of 291 parishes, across 144 communities, educating approximately 42,000 students in its Catholic schools and 156,000 in religious education classes each year, ministering to the needs of 200,000 individuals through its pastoral and social service outreach and in support of a health care ministry that meets the needs of some 1 million patients each year.   Mass is celebrated in nearly twenty different languages each week. For more information, please visit  www.BostonCatholic.org ,  www.PilotParishFinder.com , and  www.TheLightIsOnForYou.org .