Father Scott Holmer, pastor at St. Edward the Confessor Parish in Bowie, Maryland offering confessional service on church parking lot grounds during coronavirus outbreak.
God is now waiting for you by the parking lot…
‘We’re flying by the seat of our pants here, just trying to figure out how to do this,’ Father Scott Holmer of St. Edward the Confessor Parish’s in Bowie told told The Catholic Standard.
‘We priests have to be creative about how to bring Christ to people when we can’t do that in our church buildings,’ the priest offered whilst sitting outdoors on church parking lot grounds.
Reactions, he said, have been positive in the community, and Father Holmer said he plans to continue each day during the regularly scheduled Mass times. In the event of rain, there will be no confessions.
After congregations nationwide were cancelled due to no-gathering rules, Holmer staged the sacred set-up by blindfolding himself, placing a chair in the church parking lot and asking an elderly volunteer to direct traffic.
The on-the-go confessional is in a setting that’s free of surfaces such as kneelers, chairs and doorknobs that could spread the virus, he said.
‘We need to bring Christ to people now, to bring Him to others in a safe way that won’t increase infection,’ Father Holmer said. ‘That little car becomes the little confessional seat.’
Best of all, ‘sinners’ wont have to leave their cars unless they arrive with more than one person and want privacy, Holmer said. He’s also offering a Eucharistic procession on the streets of Bowie during Lent.
On Sunday, the New York Archdiocese shut down services at all of its 296 parishes — including Manhattan’s majestic St. Patrick’s Cathedral — due to coronavirus concerns.
Other states, including including New Jersey, California and Ohio have implemented no-gathering rules that have caused church masses to be cancelled.