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Boston-Area Priests Offering Drive-Through Confessions

March 28, 2020

They aren’t allowed to have most ordinary parish activities inside their churches because of the coronavirus shutdowns, so some priests in the Boston area have started offering drive-through confessions.

Priests in Waltham, Marlborough, and Chelmsford have been setting up in their church parking lots to allow Catholics to drive near enough to be heard but far enough away to maintain social distance, according to The Pilot, the newspaper of the archdiocese of Boston.

The practice is believed to have originated at a church in Maryland.

Confession is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. A penitent tells a priest his sins and expresses sorrow for having committed them and the intention of avoiding sin in the future. The priest, who according to Catholic teaching slips in for Jesus (whom Christians worship as God), then absolves the person, offering forgiveness for his sins.

A priest in Chelmsford, Father Corey Bassett-Tirrell, told The Pilot he knew he was doing the right thing when a couple of people told him they had just recently come back to the Catholic Church and that they found drive-through confession a “less intimidating way” to receive the sacrament than the typical way, which is inside a confessional booth in a church.





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