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Priest offers drive-thru confessionals amid coronavirus pandemic: 'People are so grateful'

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Catholic parishioners in Maryland can now lay their burdens down at a drive-thru confessional, thanks to a quick-thinking priest.

Rev. Scott Holmer of St. Edward the Confessor, a Catholic church in Bowie, told Fox News he came up with the idea 10 minutes before Mass was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak this past weekend.

"It's really hard on the priests not to be able to give the blessed sacrament of the Mass, so I was trying to think about what we could do," Holmer told "Fox & Friends" Friday morning.

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The Catholic priest improvised on Saturday when cars began showing up to confession Saturday afternoon. He grabbed some cones, a chair, and they formed a confession lane.

Rev. Scott Holmer, a Catholic priest at a parish in Maryland, has started hearing confessions through penitents' driver's-side windows in his church's parking lot.

Rev. Scott Holmer, a Catholic priest at a parish in Maryland, has started hearing confessions through penitents' driver's-side windows in his church's parking lot. (Courtesy of Rev. Scott Holmer)

One of the first people to arrive wasn't even Catholic, but she was from a different Christian denomination and she thanked him for doing what he was doing, snapped a picture, and it immediately went viral.

"People when they drive up, they're so grateful that they get to talk with somebody, especially a priest," he said. "Because, you know, people love their priest and when they get separated from their pastor, it just causes an ache in their heart and it causes an ache in the pastor's heart."

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On Thursday night, Holmer said he didn't know how many cars there were but they went on for about an hour.

The priest, in keeping with his sacred duty, didn't share what most people are confessing, but he did say he will continue to hold the drive-thru confessions during the scheduled times -- one hour six days out of the week and five hours on Sundays.

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During Lent in the lead up to Easter, April 12, many Christians are forced to change their ordinary routines to observe the holy time.