By Liz Sullivan
If Father Joe Kim, Director of Vocations and Evangelization for the Diocese of San Jose, ever needed proof the Diocese’s The Light Is On for You campaign was reaching people, he just needed to be reminded of the letter he received last Spring.
The letter was from a man who said he hadn’t been to church in 54 years, since he was 12 years old. However, one day the man was driving around San Jose when he saw an ad for The Light Is On for You campaign on the back of a VTA bus. The ad was welcoming people back to the Church to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as Confession.
The invitation struck a nerve with the man, who had always wanted to return to the Church.
It was the first time in all of his years away from the Church that the man had been asked to return to the Catholic Church and so he did; the man went to his local parish on a Wednesday when the campaign was taking place and participated in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
All because someone invited him.
This year, the Diocese of San Jose will once again hold The Light Is On for You campaign on Wednesdays, from 6-8 pm, in all 54 parishes from February 17 to March 23.
“In this Year of Mercy, this is one of the many acts of mercy we as Catholics can participate in,” said Father Joe. “One of the many acts of mercy is forgiveness.”
Last year, in the campaign’s first year, Father Joe estimated that 20,000 people participated in parish Reconciliation services. Father Joe said there are no plans to really change anything done last year, but just try to reach as many people as possible.
“I am excited that a lot of people discovered the beauty and the joy of the sacrament,” said Father Joe. “A lot of people have commented to me what a joy the sacrament is. Faith is all about relationships and something like this is a great way to strengthen our relationship with the Father and with Jesus, his Son.”
Father Joe admitted the Sacrament of Reconciliation is something we all need as Catholics.
“We’re all sinners,” he said. “We shouldn’t have any fear about it. God loves us and wants to welcome us home regardless of what condition we’re in. He doesn’t ask any questions.”
For more information about the campaign, visit www.DSJ.org/light.