PLEASANTON (CBS SF) — In Pleasanton the sacrament of confession is still personal — though decidedly no longer up-close.

Here, parishioners of the St. Augustine Catholic Church can see their priest from the comfort of their cars during the coronavirus shelter-in-place.

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The pastor of the Catholic Community of Pleasanton, Rev. Mark Wiesner along with Rev. Luke Ssemakula received drive-up penitents Saturday afternoon in the church parking lot.

At times during the 90-minute session the line of cars looked like something outside a fast-food window.

“We will continue to do this every Saturday throughout the coronavirus crisis until that has passed as a way to help people connect with God and prepare for the great feast of Easter,” Fr. Wiesner told KPIX.

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Drive-Through Confession

Rev. Mark Wiesner receives a confession in the parking lot of St. Augustine Catholic Church in Pleasanton. (CBS)

While many houses of worship are taking services online during the COVID-19 pandemic — St. Augustine included — the drive-through confessional provides inherent social distancing while still permitting face-to-face celebration of the sacrament of penance.

To preserve confidentiality, the church requests only one passenger per car.


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Catholic Community of Pleasanton