Even the pastor of two Catholic churches in Kewaunee County confesses the number of people participating in the sacrament of reconciliation is down due to COVID-19 limitations. Asking for the forgiveness of sins is a major part of the Catholic faith during Lent, but social distancing and a ban on mass gatherings have forced parishes to get creative. Pastor Dan Schuster of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Luxemburg and Holy Trinity Parish in Casco has moved the sacrament out of the traditional confessional booth and into the main sanctuary behind makeshift walls. He understands why some people have stayed away, but Schuster hopes people still make the time.
While some like St. Mary’s and the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help are continuing to hold confessions at posted times with restrictions, other churches are opting to hold the sacrament via drive-through, by appointment, or they canceled them altogether. The U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship announced last week that administering the sacrament over the phone was not allowed under church teachings.