By Emily Drooby
A long-time parishioner of Our Lady of Angels parish in Bay Ridge, Karen O’Neill was emotional as she prepared to confess her sins on May 30.
“Such a blessing that they do this for us,” she told Currents News.
The Brooklyn church has been offering parking lot confessionals during lockdown.
When asked why this was so important to parishioners, Karen explained, “I think you don’t realize how much you depend upon it until it’s gone and you don’t have it. So, we are just really blessed that this has resumed, that they’ve given this for us. It’s a blessing, it really is.”
The clergy is doing all they can to keep everybody safe, wearing masks and staying six feet apart.
Their pastor, Monsignor Kevin Noone, says his church has always had a large amount of faithful who frequently take part in the sacrament of confession.
“It’s been a sacrament that’s appreciated in this Parish,” he said. “We sin from time to time, and in this sacrament, we can find the peace of soul and peace of heart and mind to know that when Christ does forgive through the ministry of the priest, that person is truly forgiven.”
When churches in the Diocese of Brooklyn shut down for safety during the pandemic, he and his fellow priests knew they needed to come up with a plan B. So, back in March, they converted the parking lot into two confessional booths.
People came from all over New York City to confess their sins. They even had to stop offering it for a few weeks to let the crowds die back down, so that everyone could remain socially distant and safe.
The reopening of Diocese of Brooklyn churches does permit confessions and private prayer in the initial phase. Still, Our Lady of Angels is going to continue the sacrament outdoors for now. They’re offering it on Saturdays between 11am and noon and between 3:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.