With so many churches having to adjust regular operations because of COVID-19, one Dawson County church is offering believers a way to observe church practices while still staying six feet apart.
On March 26, Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church off Kilough Church Road offered “drive through confessions” from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., giving anyone who wanted to confess their sins the opportunity to do so.
Father Brian Higgins, the church’s pastor, explained that they came up with the idea for a drive through confession booth after numerous church members asked if there was a way to observe confession while still staying safe.
“We had a number of people requesting confession, especially during this season of Lent,” Higgins said, “so we wanted to come up with a way to take care of spiritual needs while still keeping them safe.”
In order to do this, tents were set up in the church’s parking lot for Higgins and other faith leaders to stand in, completely surrounded by tarps so as to be unable to see who was confessing. As believers drove into the lot, they were directed to pull their cars up to the tent so they could confess to the church leader inside, all without getting out of their car or coming within six feet of another person.
Members of the Blessed Mother Mary Council 15238 volunteered to help direct cars where to go, and with the help of traffic cones and signs, the entire event was pulled off with drive-through efficiency.
The idea of drive through confessions is something that not a lot of nearby Catholic churches are doing yet, according to Higgins, but with so many churches closed due to COVID-19 the idea was immediately a hit.
“We’ve had people calling us from as far away as Roswell and Atlanta asking about it,” Higgins said.
According to Higgins, about 60 people total came to confess, a turnout which he and the church were happy with considering how different the drive through confession is from normal operations.
“It’s good because this is so totally different than we ever had to do before,” Higgins said. “I believe it also helped to give a spiritual boost to so many during these confusing times.”
Based on how many people came to the confession on Thursday, the church plans on doing drive through confessions again.
“I do plan on doing it again,” Higgins said. “Possibly on Good Friday, but that all depends on the weather.”