OLD TOWN — Fr. Kyle Doustou, pastor of the Parish of the Resurrection of the Lord in Old Town, is one of many Maine priests creatively looking for ways in which to keep their connections to parishioners and the community strong during the COVID-19 crisis, including the drive-thru confessions initiative growing in popularity locally and nationally.
“Our parish is jumping on board with the parking lot confessions!” said Fr. Kyle. “I’ll be in my truck every night hearing confessions via drive-up or walk-up, from behind a protective screen. ‘The Light is On for You’ might be cancelled, but the ‘Cab Light’ is still on!”
Fr. Doustou will offer confession at the Holy Family Church parking lot on Brunswick Street in Old Town on Saturday, March 28, at 3 p.m., Monday, March 30, at 6 p.m., Friday, April 3, at 6 p.m., and Saturday, April 4, at 3 p.m.; at the Newman Center parking lot on College Avenue in Orono on Tuesday, March 31, at 6 p.m.; at St. Ann Church on Down Street in Indian Island on Wednesday, April 1, at 6 p.m.; and at St. Ann Church on Main Street in Bradley on Thursday, April 2, at 6 p.m.
In addition, Fr. Kent Ouellette, pastor of St. Mary of the Visitation Parish in Houlton, has announced he will be offering confession in a drive-thru format at St. Mary of the Visitation Church, located on 112 Military Street in Houlton, on Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Confessions will be outside at the back of the church at the double glass doors to the left of the Food Pantry entrance (if you are facing the church at the back).
Fr. Bill Labbe and Fr. Jack Dickinson will offer confessions in front of the rectory at Notre Dame Church in Springvale and the sidewalk in front of the church doors at St. Matthew Church in Limerick. There will be a chair if someone wants to get out of their car to go to confession, but if they can’t get out of the car, the priests will come over to the passenger side window to hear their confession. If there is more than one person in the car, then the others will have to step out. Here is the schedule for both churches: Saturday, March 28, and Saturday, April 4, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Monday, March 30, and Monday, April 6, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesday, March 31, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (St. Matthew only); Thursday, April 2, and Thursday, April 9, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.; and Holy Saturday, April 11, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Beginning Saturday, March 28, Fr. Lou Phillips will be available to hear confessions from the back porch of the Our Lady of the Perpetual Help rectory in Windham on Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. From the handicapped parking lot across from the church, penitents can access the back yard of the rectory, one at a time, and approach the porch. Depending upon where the penitent stands, he or she will have the anonymous or face-to-face option. In the event of inclement weather, confessions will be cancelled.
St. Brendan the Navigator Parish will offer confessions in the parking lot (stay in your car) on Monday, March 30, at Our Lady of Good Hope Church in Camden from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Wednesday, April 1, at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Belfast from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; and St. Bernard Church in Rockland on Thursday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
r. Kevin Martin, pastor of St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish, will offer confession in the parking lot of Immaculate Conception Church in Calais on Saturday, March 28, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Monday, March 30, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; St. Joseph Church in Eastport (behind the church near the garage) on Tuesday, March 31, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; St. James Church in Baileyville (outside side entrance) on Thursday, April 2, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and in the parking lot of St. Ann Church in Peter Dana Point on Thursday, April 2, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Fr. Martin is also available for reconciliation by appointment in Calais at other times by calling (207) 454-0680, extension 2.
The new additions join the drive-thru confession opportunities that saw high attendance last weekend and will continue:
Fr. Phil Tracy will offer the sacrament of reconciliation in a drive-thru format at Holy Martyrs Church on 266 Foreside Road in Falmouth on Saturdays from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. People can drive up with Fr. Tracy hearing confessions at a safe distance near the automobiles.
Fr. Paul Marquis will offer the sacrament of reconciliation in a drive-thru format in the parking lot of Sacred Heart Church on 326 Main Street in Yarmouth on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Fr. Seamus Griesbach will offer the sacrament of reconciliation in a similar drive-thru format. Fr. Griesbach will hear confessions from the window of the rectory, located next to the Our Lady of the Rosary Parish sign on 131 High Street in Sabattus, on Mondays through Fridays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Confessors need only drive up the driveway, keep their window down, and enjoy informational signs while they wait.
Fr. Aaron Damboise will offer the sacrament of reconciliation in a drive-thru format at Holy Family Church on 145 Pritham Avenue in Greenville on Saturdays at 3 p.m. and at St. Anthony of Padua Parish on 370 Main Street in Jackman on Sundays at 10:30 a.m.
Also, parish priests at Parish of the Precious Blood in Caribou are offering confession. Interested parties can call the rectory at (207) 498-2536.
As opportunities are announced, they will be added to the Diocese of Portland’s COVID-19 response page at portlanddiocese.org/content/response-coronavirus.