Though the COVID-19 outbreak has led to the closure of small, enclosed confessionals, it hasn’t stopped the faithful from receiving the sacrament of reconciliation.

Priests in the Archdiocese of Vancouver are finding creative ways to help Catholics find peace and forgiveness through Confession. For example, pastors at St. Patrick’s Parish in Vancouver and St. Patrick’s Parish in Maple Ridge have launched drive-thru confessions in their parking lots.

“It is very important to me to realize my own mission as a priest, to really reach out to people, to let them know they are not abandoned,” said Father Felix Min at the Vancouver church.

Meanwhile, Holy Rosary Cathedral and Christ the Redeemer Parish have opted to offer outdoor confessions with a screen between priest and penitent.

Other pastors have found other creative ways to offer the sacrament, depending on their situations. At St. Clare of Assisi in Coquitlam and St. James in Abbotsford, confessions are heard in the church’s crying room.

The drive-thru option is becoming a popular one for Lower Mainland parishes, and not only for confession. St. Helen’s and St. Patrick’s in Maple Ridge opened drive-thru stations to give out palms for Palm Sunday, while St. Anthony of Padua is offering drive-in adoration in the church parking lot.

Father Juan Lucca invites Catholics to confession at Holy Rosary Cathedral.
An outdoor confessional at Christ the Redeemer Parish.
Father Matthew To of St. Patrick’s in Maple Ridge at a drive-thru set up to distribute palms for Palm Sunday. His parish also offers drive-thru confession.