From the website of St. Edward the Confessor in Bowie, Maryland comes this message from Father Scott Holmer, the pastor:
As we go through this Coronavirus, I hope to be in daily communication with you to create a sense of being connected as a parish throughout these uncertain days.
The Mass is the heart of our life together as Catholics. It is a source of great sorrow to me when we are not able to gather as a community because of sickness or other serious obligations. It is certainly a source of sorrow that none of us are able to attend Mass together because of the health crisis threatening our nation and the world. For those who have not already done so, I urge you to sign up on Flocknote (our text and email messaging system) to be able to communicate more
I would ask you to unite your prayers with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that I will be offering in private by spending some time each day in personal prayer and by continuing to maintain your Lenten discipline of prayer, fasting, and works of mercy.
Since I cannot guarantee your physical safety by opening up the Church or the office to visitors, I have set up a “drive through confessional” and will be hearing confessions in the Church parking lot to maintain a six foot distance while penitents stay in their cars. (You may have seen this on Facebook because I just came up with this idea one hour before our usual confession time here at St. Edwards this past Saturday). I will be doing this during the period we normally have Masses here at St. Edwards. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I will be in the parking lot starting at 8:45am. Tuesday and Thursday, I will be in the parking lot at 7:30pm. I will also be in the drive through confessional Wednesdays from 7-8pm for the usual “Light is on for You” thing we do in the Archdiocese. The lights might not be on for you in the Church but they will be in the parking lot! Saturdays I will be in the parking lot 4pm-5pm. On Sunday, I will be in the parking lot from 7:30am to 12:30pm. You can also feel free to swing by just to talk to check in. Be aware, I may have to close down the drive through if it starts to rain too heavily. If that is the case, just swing on by the next day.
Since the seminary is closed, I have given a seminarian, Joseph McHenry, a place to live here at St. Edwards. He will be controlling traffic for our drive through confessional. He will also tell me to put on my blindfold before you pull up to the “confessional window” if you want to go to confession anonymously.
This is turning out to be a Lent unlike any other. I believe the Lord is inviting us to an increased concern for the welfare of our neighbors and offering us the opportunity to make sacrifices for them. What a great Lenten penance for us all.
Be assured of my prayers for you. Please pray for the health and welfare of all in our parish and in the surrounding community. I miss you all terribly.