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.
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.
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.