Parishes to keep the Light on for You this Lent

The secret is out: confession is a source of inexpressible joy and healing.

The Light is on for You campaign is returning to Denver for its third year this March to turn the sacrament of reconciliation from a secret into a well-known fact.

When launching the campaign in 2012, then apostolic administrator of the archdiocese, Auxiliary Bishop James Conley, called confession “the best kept secret in the Catholic Church.”

Three years later, Archbishop Samuel Aquila is expanding the one-night confession event into a six-week educational campaign during the liturgical season of Lent to make Catholics more aware of the renewing and healing graces of the sacrament.

The archdiocese’s Office of Communications is joining forces with the Office of Evangelization and Family Life Ministries to promote the campaign, during which catechetical guides and a special series in the Denver Catholic Register will be published. The series will include confession FAQs, a how-to guide, list of confession times and inspirational stories about fellow-Catholic’s confession experiences.

Parishes will also have access to banners, posters and graphics to aid in promoting the event.

“We’re going to promote confession so it’s not a secret anymore,” said communications director Karna Swanson. “We want everyone to know about confession, how great it is and the mercy that’s available through confession.”

The campaign begins Ash Wednesday, March 5, and extends throughout Lent. It will include the popular archdiocesan-wide night of confession, which will be held Thursday, March 20, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. All parishes are asked to unite and participate in the campaign to make the sacrament available at the same time.

Catholics are welcome to participate, including those who’ve strayed from the Church or those who haven’t confessed in some time.

“It gives people who aren’t aware of the times and dates of confession, and maybe aren’t regular church-goers, the opportunity to know this is the time to go,” explained Swanson.

The archdiocese also invites all faithful to promote the campaign and confession so that fellow Catholics may take advantage of it. Resources on a to-be-announced website will be available for everyone.

“We encourage all parishioners and faithful to put it on their own websites and social media,” Swanson said.

This pastoral initiative, aimed at increasing awareness and participation in the sacrament of penance, began in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., in 2005. The Archdiocese of Boston also launched the campaign two years ago.

Confession is the means for Catholics to obtain pardon from God for sins committed and reconciles them with Christ’s Church.

The sacrament goes by various names including “confession,” because of the act of disclosing sins to a priest, and the “sacrament of penance,” because it consecrates a person’s personal steps toward conversion.

Some priests say confession is akin to an appointment with a dentist or doctor, only confession is an appointment with God and it’s for the healing of a soul.

And to stay healthy spiritually, means making regular appointments for confession.

Whether Catholics choose to attend the Light is on for You confession night or make an appointment with their priest, the important goal is to grow closer to God and take advantage of the sacraments the Church offers, Swanson said.

In confession, the mercy of God is overflowing. Catholics in Denver can expect to find his forgiveness while receiving the sacrament.

“We’re always surprised no matter what we have to confess,” Swanson said. “God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness are much greater than we are. Prepare yourself to be surprised by his mercy.”


Light is on for You FAQ’s
Campaign: March 5-April 16
Archdiocesan-wide confession night 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m. March 20

To order a Light is on for You banner (in English or Spanish), contact 303-715-3230 or

COMING UP: Colorado bishops issue letter on the Hyde Amendment and other pro-life Congressional policies

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We, the Catholic bishops of Colorado, urge Congressional Representatives to support the Hyde Amendment and the Walden Amendment. We also ask the Faithful to sign The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) petition to lawmakers encouraging them to preserve the Hyde Amendment, which can be accessed at:, and to contact their Congressmen and women to support the Hyde and Walden amendments.

The House Appropriations Labor and Health and Human Services subcommittee recently passed a spending bill that strips protections for pre-born children, healthcare providers,and American taxpayers by excluding pro-life provisions, including the Hyde and Weldon amendments.

The Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortion in most cases, except for rape and incest, has received bipartisan support since its inception in 1976 – including by pro-abortion administrations. Hyde is critical in saving lives. The Charlotte Lozier Institute estimates that approximately 60,000 pre-born babies are saved every year because of the Hyde Amendment.[1] This is the first time in 40 years that the Hyde Amendment was not included in the annual appropriations bill[2] and failure to include pro-life amendments will only further increase divisions in our country.

The Weldon Amendment prevents any federal programs, agencies, and state and local governments from discriminating against health care practitioners and institutions that do not provide abortion services. It ensures that pro-life individuals and organizations can enter the health care profession without fearing that the government will force them to perform a procedure that violates their well-founded convictions. It has also received bipartisan support and was added to the appropriations bill every year since it was first enacted in 2005. [3]

Congress’ recent actions endanger the lives of pre-born children and infringe on the rights of millions of Americans who do not wish to participate in the moral evil of abortion. A recent Knights of Columbus/Marist poll found that 58 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortions[4] and a 2019 Gallup poll shows that 60 percent of Americans think abortion should either be illegal or only legal in a few circumstances.[5]

The government should neither use taxpayer funds for the killing of pre-born children nor compel medical practitioners and institutions to violate their well-founded convictions. Congress must uphold these long-standing, common-sense bipartisan policies that promote a culture of life in our nation.

Human reason and science affirm that human life begins at conception. The Church objects to abortion on the moral principle that each and every human life has inherent dignity, and thus must be treated with respect due to every human person. There has never been and never will be a legitimate need to abort a baby in the womb.

It is critical that Congress continue its long-history of supporting policies such as the Hyde and Walden amendments, and that all Colorado Catholics and people of good will make their voice heard in supporting these life-affirming policies.

Sign the petition to Congress here:

Contact your Congressional Representatives here:

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila
Archbishop of Denver

Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg
Bishop of Pueblo

Most Reverend James R. Golka
Bishop of Colorado Springs

Most Reverend Jorge Rodriguez
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver