Confession Times Canceled

Unfortunately, we will have to cancel our scheduled times for Reconciliation tomorrow, December 23 and Thursday, December 24.

If you are in need of the Sacrament of Reconciliation before Christmas, St Joseph’s Cathedral (located at 212 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43215) has a Holy Hour with the Sacrament of Reconciliation every Wednesday from 5:15 to 6:15 pm. Or St. Patrick’s (located at 280 N Grant Ave, Columbus, OH 43215) is having confessions tomorrow, Wednesday, December 23 at 12:15 pm until all are heard.

We apologize for any inconvenience. Please pray for the health of Monsignor Cody and Father Watson!

Confession Appointments Now Available

We are now accepting requests for confession appointments! Please note that for now confessions are by appointment only so that lines do not form for people waiting as they might under normal conditions, and to maintain social distancing. Appointments also make it possible for a quick “in and out” scenario to help maintain the health and safety of all. Given this, we cannot take walk-ins, so please be respectful of those who made an appointment in advance. Also, everyone MUST wear a mask or face covering (a bandanna, for example).

Please remember that certain people will fall into a category of being unable to make their confession at this time. These include: 

  • Anyone who is in the at-risk category due to previous health conditions or being older in age (65+). If you are in an at-risk category, please seek medical advice from your physician to get his/her approval as to whether or not you are able to go into a public setting—even with social distancing—to interact with others, such as having your confession heard. If not, other opportunities will certainly be available in the future to have your confession heard.
  • Anyone who has a cough, fever, or anything contagious.
  • Anyone who is a potential carrier of COVID-19 coronavirus.

If you fall into any of those categories above, or if you are afraid to come to confession for fear of contracting COVID-19, you are still able to receive forgiveness of your sins by repenting, making an act of Love for God above all things, and making a resolve to go to confession once you are able to again. 

To schedule an appointment for confession, please call the parish office at 614.875.3322. Leave a message stating that you would like to schedule an appointment for confession, and we will call you back as soon as possible with available dates and times. You will then be assigned to a 5-minute slot. This is not a time for pastoral counseling. This opportunity is just to confess your sins and then receive penance and absolution. If you are in need of pastoral counseling, you can call the office and a phone call with Father Jim can be arranged for that purpose. Our priests will not be seeing the list of who is coming to confession so that you may remain anonymous if you wish. 

Please do not bring children with you unless they are also penitents. If they are to give their confession, they will need their own appointment and to follow the same procedures. Please tell our scheduler how many people you need appointments for and we will schedule you all together.

Once your appointment is scheduled, please adhere to the following procedure: 

  • Any and all preparation for confession (i.e. examination of conscience, prayer preparation, etc.) should be completed at home before you arrive at your appointment. An examination of conscience can be found here.
  • If you have a fever, cough, or feel ill the day of your appointment, please call us and cancel. Take your temperature and do not come if it is over 100.4 degrees.
  • Penitents should arrive no more than 5 minutes before their scheduled time in order to maintain social distancing and prevent crowds from forming. 
  • Everyone MUST wear a mask or face covering (a bandanna, for example). Each priest will also be wearing a mask.
  • Confessions will be held in the school. Individuals should enter the North doors under the white canopy (the proper set of doors will be marked “Entrance”) and proceed to the Gym. From there they will be guided (using appropriate social distancing procedures) towards classrooms where confessions will be held. All doors will be propped open, so there will be no need to touch anything. The classroom doors with priests will be open and remain open during confessions. All others will remain closed and locked. You will not be able to pick which priest you will confess to. 
  • For your brief, 5-minute confession, you will be standing. Father will be sitting. There will be an “x” marked on the floor six feet or more away from Father. You will have the option for anonymous confessions. 
  • Upon finishing their confession, penitents will proceed back towards the gym and exit the door marked “Exit.”
  • The church remains closed, so no one will be allowed into the church building. Individuals should perform their penance in their vehicle (if so applicable).

We know this feels strange to do confession this way. As we begin to reemerge as a society we are going to have to go through several phases of a new normal to begin with. Know that these precautions have all been thoughtfully put into place to help protect our community and avoid a second wave of the virus. Let us all pray for an end to this virus, for its victims, and for protection for all of those on the front lines in this crisis.

This information can also be found on our Confession page.

Messages from Bishop Brennan

Letters from the Diocese

We have two letters to share with you today from Bishop Brennan. The first is from all of the Ohio Bishops, extending the suspension of public Masses through May 29. (Click on the image to expand)

We are all longing for the day when we can gather together once again and physically receive the Lord through the sacraments. During this time we join together with each other in solidarity, offering our heart’s desire for all of the sacraments as an offering of love and obedience.

The second letter is from Bishop Brennan to the faithful of the Diocese of Columbus, and it brings great news! Beginning May 1, Confessions will be resuming in the Diocese.

We are still working out the details and logistics for confessions at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, but we are excited about this first step in returning to the sacraments. Note that there will be many guidelines and restrictions around who will be eligible for confession and how we will go about it. 

Read Bishop Brennan’s full letter below:

Letter to the Faithful from Bishop Brennan

The Lord is Risen – Happy Easter!

The Ohio Bishops met yesterday.  After consultation and a close examination of the facts determined that while it is not yet possible to begin the public celebration of Mass, we are looking at a target date of May 30/31 – Pentecost Sunday hopefully to resume our celebrations.  Each of us continues to dispense all Catholics from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass and I also dispense from the canonical obligation of Easter Duty.  During his press conference yesterday, Governor DeWine indicated that through increased and widespread testing and other means, much knowledge will emerge to allow for safer conditions for the assemblies of people.  In the meantime we will begin the gradual process in various ways.  

This week many of our priests will begin setting aside dedicated time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a wide basis by appointment and in places deemed to provide for safety and hygiene.  These locations will include spaces free of the need to touch surfaces such as doors or furniture, providing appropriate social distancing and privacy and limiting the number of people gathered at any one time to a bare minimum.  The locations and contact numbers for appointments will be posted on our Diocesan Website (www.columbuscatholic.org) beginning Wednesday, April 29 so that appointments for confessions may be scheduled, and hearing confessions can begin Friday, May 1.  We will be working to make it possible in at least some of our churches for people to visit and pray during certain hours in the coming weeks.  Again, care for the continued health and safety of those who visit is paramount.   

The process of preparing for Mass will encompass many considerations.  We will work to be ensure that the Churches are clean and safe.  We are working to have plans in place to manage seating and movement, allowing for safe social distancing; this may perhaps limit the number of people in the Church or any other spaces at any given time.  We will follow the guidelines for assemblies regarding face-coverings and other protective measures.  It may be necessary to adjust schedules to allow for priests to help each other beyond parish boundaries.  In recent weeks there has been a task force looking at the many opportunities for evangelization here in the diocese.  Their work will turn to provide recommendations on how we as a diocese and as parishes use this time for pastoral and interior preparation. 

Looking ahead with hope and anticipation I ask your prayers.  Looking back, I can only do so with deep gratitude for your continued goodness, your sacrifices, your patience and understanding.  I am convinced that the measures we have taken together with the rest of our community have made a significant difference.  Let’s pray for those who have suffered deeply, especially those who have died and those who mourn.  And let’s never forget the sacrifices and hard work that so many people heroically make for us and our well-being. 

In the peace of our Risen Lord,
+Bishop Brennan

Note that you can also find both of these letters, as well as other information, on the Diocese’s COVID-19 page.

Father Jim’s Video Message

Father Jim has a video message for us today, regarding all of these new announcements from the Diocese:

Confession Details: What we know so far

Confession will be available by appointment only. We will let you know when we will start to accept calls to schedule appointments. 

Bishop Brennan does want to remind the faithful that what the Vatican had clarified remains in effect: if you are not able to go to confession, you can still receive the forgiveness of your sins by repenting, making an act of Love for God above all things, and making a resolve to go to confession once you are able to again. 

Bishop Brennan also wants this clear: certain people will fall into a category of being unable to confess at this time, even when we begin accepting appointments. Those still unable to confess at this time includes: 

  • Anyone who is in the at-risk category due to previous health conditions or being older in age
  • Anyone who has a cough or a fever
  • Anyone who is worried about possibly being a carrier

If you fall into any of those categories above, or if you are afraid to come to confession for fear of contracting COVID-19, you are still able to receive forgiveness of your sins by following the above guidelines from the Vatican. We will release more details including the number to call to schedule confession as soon as we can! In the meantime, God bless you.