Because Lent is a period of penance, prayer and confession in preparation for the Resurrection, there is no more fitting way to mark this liturgical season than by taking part in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

To bring the sacrament to as many of the faithful as possible, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee will once again host its popular Pray, Reconcile and Rejoice: Lenten Day of Reconciliation on March 24 at various locations throughout the archdiocese.

This will be the second year that the day of confessions is held. It was first offered in 2019 and was planned for 2020, but was canceled as part of the COVID-19 lockdowns last spring.

“Last year during Lent, parishes weren’t open and we were just trying to figure out how we were going to bring the sacraments to people,” said Jenni Oliva, director of events and special programming for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. “Now, we have almost a year under our belts. We’ve figured out how to have Mass and how to offer the sacraments in a safe way.”

In the past, the day has featured 12-hour blocks of confession offered at each site, and while some of the sites this year will offer the full 12 hours, others are offering shorter hours or are breaking up the blocks of time between several parishes in the deanery. Each deanery is represented, and there has been an effort to space locations so that residents of all 10 counties in the archdiocese will have easy access to the sacrament.

Individual protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have been determined at the parish level, said Oliva, but all parishes are complying with archdiocesan directives regarding mask-wearing, social distancing and sanitizing. The archdiocese has encouraged each parish to use tape marks to ensure social distancing while penitents are waiting in line, and priests are being asked to remind penitents to fulfill their penance outside of the church, to avoid having large groups in the sanctuary.

When Pray, Reconcile and Rejoice: Lenten Day of Reconciliation was first offered in 2019, said Oliva, the feedback from both priests and penitents was overwhelmingly positive. “We heard lovely stories from people, that they took the opportunity because it was literally the case that they could walk into a church nearby and the sacrament was being offered,” she said. “We heard from some of our priests that people sitting in front of them hadn’t been to the sacrament in years.”

For a complete listing of parishes participating and the times confession will be offered at each site, visit