These U.S.A. are now mission territories.
I was inspired by something I read at NEWS.VA. Is this an idea for the weathly, formerly Christian lands in which most of you readers live?
Wen Zhou (Agenzia Fides) – Witnesses of faith, a spiritual retreat, visiting confessors are just some of many initiatives undertaken by the Catholic Wen Zhou diocese, in the Zhe Jiang province of mainland China, to help the faithful live a fruitful Lenten season in the present Year of the Faith. According to the diocesan Web Site, on 13 and 14 February the Cathedral hosted a two-day Lenten retreat, on the theme “Consolidating the faith and proclaiming the Gospel”. During the days of retreat, besides reflecting together on the faith, local Catholic laity, priests and religious, recited the Rosary, made the Stations of the Cross and celebrated Holy Mass, as well as sharing testimonies of faith in this Year of the Faith. In response to indications given by Pope Benedict XVI, the diocese launched an unusual initiative: Visiting Confessors. On February 15, a team of 11 priests visited Le Qing and heard about 2,000 confession. This initiative led many lapsed Catholics return to a life of faith. The diocese is organising another Visiting Confessors mission towards the end of the month of February to be held in a parish, still to be identified.
Perhaps we need this in the affluent, spiritually dying West, in the Northern Hemisphere.
I can imagine a team of “flying” confessors. Remember the “flying bishops” amongst Anglicans before Anglicanorum coetibus?
These “flying confessors”, a team, would come at the invitation of a bishop. They would swoop in and hear confessions of the priests (and the bishops), give workshops on matters such as how to have recourse to the Sacra Penitenzieria Apostolica for internal forum issues, refreshers on moral theology and changes to canon law pertinent for the confessional, and then hear confessions for all comers for a few days during a diocesan wide campaign.
Just thinking out loud.
Maybe without the ominous larynx crushing Force grip part… for the lay penitents, at least. For the priests… well…