LONDON, ONT. — When the Diocese of London says its doors are always open, they're not kidding. At least that was the case on April 6 when more than 120 parishes across southwestern Ontario took part in the diocese's Confession Campaign.
"It's an invitation to people that the doors are open for them to come back to the sacrament of Confession," London Bishop Ronald Fabbro told The Catholic Register.
The campaign was modelled after the Light is On for You campaign that originated in the Archdiocese of Washington and has since spread across the United States, said Mark Adkinson, director of communications for the London Diocese.
London did a trial run in the diocese last year — and the response was pretty amazing, said Adkinson. "So we decided to do it for the next three years."
Fabbro said many priests were overwhelmed by the number of people who participated in the trial.
"Many of them were in the confessional all day and there was just a steady stream of people coming to them," he said. "It turned out to reach a need of our people."
Fabbro was expecting an even bigger turnout this year.
"A lot of people that went to the day last year hadn't been for 15, 20, 25 years," said Adkinson. "So it's just a way of reacquainting people with the sacrament and just putting the resources that they need for it in an easy to use format."
Already, more than 100,000 Confession "how-to" guides have been distributed across the diocese, said Adkinson. Along with the guides, the diocese is also giving out 500 copies of Confession: A Roman Catholic App, an iTunes application that provides preparatory tools for Confession. The app retails for $1.99.
"A lot of people are walking around with a smartphone nowadays so this is just another way of getting them the information in a way that they're comfortable," said Adkinson.
The app starts off with an examination of conscience and walks people through Confession step by step. It also reminds users when their last Confessions were and keeps track of previously confessed sins.