Offering the Gift of Your Presence

By: Caitlin Forst

When I stopped by a local parish on a recent Wednesday just before 6:30 p.m., a woman asked me where the confessionals were.  After directing her toward them, I had the opportunity to pray and to provide silent support as The Light Is On For You began that evening.

Hopefully you’ve also had the opportunity to stop by a Catholic Church in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area during The Light is On For You. As radio, bus and web ads  announce, every Church in the area is open on Wednesdays in Lent from 6:30-8 p.m. for the Sacrament of Confession and quiet prayer. Even if you do not plan on coming for Confession, I encourage you to consider giving the gift of your time during these remaining weeks.

The Light is On For You invites Catholics to return to God’s mercy through Confession.  While having our sins forgiven is a tremendous gift, it can also be somewhat intimidating– especially if it’s been quite a while since their last Confession.  Your quiet, prayerful presence can reassure those coming to the sacrament that they are welcome

Many parishes have Lenten suppers or other initiatives occurring in concert with The Light is On For You which signal to those coming back to the sacraments that the Church is an authentic community in which they are welcome. However, even if there’s no organized event, your presence, or the presence of your family and friends, has such a powerful impact.  When you concretely offer these prayers and time, you are witnessing to the value you place on the sacraments in your own life. Learn more at


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