Cardinal Wuerl’s new book, published by The Word Among Us Press, encourages Catholics to go to Confession.
Cardinal Wuerl’s new book, published by The Word Among Us Press, encourages Catholics to go to Confession.
Lent - the 40-day penitential period of prayer, fasting and almsgiving - continues until Good Friday, April 18. Easter this year will be celebrated on Sunday, April 20.

As it has done for the past seven Lenten seasons, this year the Archdiocese of Washington is again sponsoring "The Light Is On For You" campaign to encourage the faithful to receive the Sacrament of Confession.

It was established by then-Archbishop Donald Wuerl in this archdiocese in 2007.

In his just-published new book, "The Light Is On For You: The Life-Changing Power of Confession," Cardinal Wuerl said when it was decided "to provide opportunities for Confession," there would be also be a need "to send out an invitation ... to repeat the invitation many times."

"We would have to make a strong effort to welcome our people home to Confession," the cardinal writes. "The key would be to welcome them home."

He added that the theme of the Lenten Confession program was chosen because "we wanted to suggest a homecoming. 'Leaving the light on' is what family members do."

Through the "The Light Is On For You" program, churches in the Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Arlington will be open every Wednesday evening during Lent for Confessions and prayer. The remaining Wednesdays of Lent are March 19 and 26, April 2, 9 and 16.

"The sacrament (of Confession) is a safe place where people can break their unbearable silence and lay down their heavy burdens," Cardinal Wuerl says in his book. "It is a place where we can speak in certain trust and receive good counsel."

Many parishes also offer Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament during these hours.

Details and resources, including a guide on how to make a good Confession, are available at www.the-light-is-on.org.

In addition, the Archdiocese of Washington has produced a TV commercial for this year's "The Light Is On For You" campaign. This commercial will air locally throughout Lent. It can be viewed online at http://youtu.be/0xa4M9nM2To.