Communal Penance Service

Will be: Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 7pm

Due to the unusual circumstances of the Coronavirus and the need for social distancing and not having large crowds, this year’s penance service will be different than usual.

The Pope and Archbishop have given permission during this time for us to grant General Absolution to large numbers of people without individual confessions first.


How this will work:

This will be a “Drive-in” event.  Please park in the IC parking lot before 7pm, with your cars facing the church.  (If the parking lot fills up, please park along the street in front of the church.)

Remain in your car with the windows up (or just open a little bit so you can hear).

I will lead the penance service from a microphone by the parking lot.  We will read scripture, do a short examination of conscience, say the act of contrition, and receive absolution.


Anyone who has already done their first confession may attend this event.



You must be present to participate in this General Absolution event.  It cannot be transmitted by TV or Internet.

Repentance from sin, just like during individual confession, is of course still essential for receiving this sacrament.

Additionally, the Rite of Penance instructs: “Those who receive pardon for grave sins by a common absolution should (1) go to individual confession before they receive this kind of absolution again, unless they are impeded by a just reason. They are strictly bound, unless this is morally impossible, to (2) go to confession within a year. The precept which obliges each of the faithful to (3) confess at least once a year to a priest all the grave sins which he has not individually confessed before also remains in force in this case too.

In other words, the faithful have a duty to go to individual “regular” confession at a future date when they have the opportunity (such as once it is safe again).


Examination of Conscience:

Prepare for the penance service by making a good Examination of Conscience.   Click here.



In case of heavy rain, this event may be postponed until the following day, Wednesday.


Finally, individual confessions continue to be available during this time.  I encourage you to take advantage of this.  Social distancing is being observed by offering confessions in the Civic Center (so we can spread out more).  See the bulletin for confession time details for Holy Week.