More Confession, Please…

… Here’s my take away from last week’s discussion on Confession on Demand — we need more access to the sacrament. Period.

When did one hour a week per parish become the norm anyway?

If your parish is tiny than I suppose this would suffice, but I’ve been to huge parishes with thousands of families and still the congregation is offered one hour a week. My own parish offers confession twice weekly; however, that is not typical of the diocese.

Obviously we need more priests. Also obvious, we need our current priests to place performing sacraments in priority over administrative duties.

As my seminarian friend stated, “we are getting ordained to perform the sacraments, not attend meetings.” Most comments seem to agree being busy was not a valid excuse, this coming from other priests.

So perhaps Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry’s advice wasn’t all that bad. In fact, I will contend it was probably very good advice.

Go into a church at random.
Find a priest.
Tell the priest you need a confession now.

As Fr John Corrigan noted,

Maybe if a priest who only schedules the token half hour each week was inundated by good confessions on demand, he might learn to value the sacrament more and minister it with greater generosity and zeal. Think about that next time the Holy Spirit prompts you to “cold-call.” It might be part of a larger plan!

Confession is vital. Something so vital needs to be accessible. How can we do this?

What can the laity do to help priests better manage their time? Can they assume more administrative duties and volunteer more?

Are we as parents instilling in our children the need for frequent confession – through daily examinations of conscience and contrition and taking them to confession even if they don’t need to just so they can witness you going?

Do we pray for an increase in vocations and encourage our seminarians?

Mostly… do we go to confession with regularity?

We can tell priest “more confession, please” but he’s probably not going to be quick at accommodating us if we don’t make frequent use of the sacrament.

Remind the priest why he’s in that box — to save souls.

I want to thank those who participated in the discussion and left insightful comments. I also want to thank Pascal for getting the topic started.

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