A campus ministry priest at Purdue University has begun riding around campus on a golf cart, offering students to hear their confessions “on the go.”
Dominican Father Patrick Baikauskas has created what he calls “the confession to-go cart,” complete with a sign advertising his ministry as he drives around the college campus in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Since many students do not come to church, Father Patrick said he is proactively offering confessions in a new way in order to “get out to the people” where they are.
“If this is a really important sacrament, then let’s show it,” Father Patrick told local television news. “Let’s get out where the people are – where the students are – take this golf cart out [and] do confessions on-the-go.”
“Pope Francis said we’re supposed to smell like the sheep,” Fr. Patrick said. “Smelling like the sheep means you’re not going to stay in that church and wait for all the people to come to us.
“Pope Francis wants us to go out to the people and experience them right where they are,” he said.
Much like a Christian taxi driver, the priest also stops for students who wave him down, as long as he does not have another “fare” at the time.
So far, Purdue college students have reacted favorably to the priest’s unusual ministry.
“I thought it was pretty funny when I first saw it, but I think it’s kind of cool that it’s there and it’s spreading the message,” said Purdue freshman Liv James.
David Evans, another Purdue University student and member of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, said he goes to confession every week. He explained that this is “just another way” for him to receive the sacrament.
“The point of confession is to receive mercy, to look at yourself and say ‘this is where I screwed up, but this is how I do better,’” Evans told local television news.
For his part, Father Patrick is convinced he is doing the Lord’s work.
“I think Jesus Christ would be thrilled to see us doing something like this,” the priest said.