New uses for unused confessionals

A reader sent me this photo of a confessional.

CLICK the photo to find out how it is being used now!

What signal does this send to people about the importance of the sacrament of penance?

I’m just askin’…

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  1. TNCath says:

    A fancy closet for the ladies in the altar society. Notice the keys above the doors. Oh the irony…

  2. Phillip says:

    Sigh, the confessional in the chapel in my high school is also unused, and books, linens, and vestments are stored inside. Sadly, the whole chapel is dilapidated. There is a sanctuary lamp, but it is sometimes not lit. The holy water fonts are empty. Many meetings are held in there by campus ministry. Sadly, my classmates eat, talk, text, and do not hold any reverence for the chapel. I wrote an article about it in our school newspaper, and now the sanctuary lamp is lit, the fonts filled. But the atmosphere of reverence is not maintained.

  3. Confiteor says:

    This is sacrilege, of course.

    Is the Church building itself still in use? If the building has been sold, then I would say that the gravity of the offense is somewhat lessened. If the building is still owned by a Catholic diocese, then the sacrilege is beyond belief.

  4. Peter Ochwal says:

    a coffeesional?

  5. cuaguy says:

    It is scary when one sees this…

  6. Alan F. says:

    Oh dear..

    Still, at least it’s not as bad as what I was expecting.
    (It could have been toilet cubicles..)

  7. Michael says:

    So what, Father Z.?

    “Certainly the liturgical reform inaugurated by the Council has greatly contributed to a more conscious, active and fruitful participation on the Altar on the part of the faithful” (Redemptionis Sacramentum, No.4, quoting Eccesia de Eucharistia).

    The fruits are evident: mortal sin has been eradicated.

  8. Anne Scanlon says:


  9. Jim Dorchak says:

    Fr Z

    Dont you get it? There is no such thing as sin anymore. I have heard it over and over again at catholic Churches.

    In fact sin is now celebrated (no pun intended)

    My children hear it along with their instruction on oral sex, and masterbation at CCD.

    So why are you supprised?

    Jim Dorchak

  10. Lucy says:

    That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever seen !! May God reward our diocese with a Latin Mass parish as we wish, and help return society to it’s full Catholic life !

  11. IvoDeNorthfield says:

    Well, as long as they have the right views about the crucial historical event of the 20th century and the crucial Vatican II doctrine, they don’t need the sacraments or any of that traditionalist hocus-pocus.

  12. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    This is bad, but it might be one of four confessionals and they might not have the priests to fill them. What bothers me more is the bulletin that allocates 15 minutes for confessions on Saturday or by private appointment!! How many hoops does the new more pastoral Church want to make Catholics jump through to get into a state of grace?!

  13. frv says:

    Sadly this is the case in MANY churches across the US. They abandoned these for the silly “reconciliation rooms” when penitents could go face to face. Now we have the joy of re-converting the confessionals and the hard work of calling people back to the sacrament. Kyrie, eleison!

  14. Maureen says:

    But that’s what most churches in my area did with at least one set of their confessionals when the face-to-face communion came in — convert the confessionals into storage and the baptistry or bride’s room into a confessional. Very common. It’s only in the last ten years or so that people have been turning them back into confessionals.

    The current trend now is to turn baptistries into additional bathrooms when they get a new big font in the middle of the aisle or out in the “gathering space”. In some cases (lots of elderly people and the previous bathrooms down a steep flight of stairs) this is understandable, but it’s always sad.

  15. Charivari Rob says:

    Is this in a ‘lower church’ that was converted back into a ‘parish hall’?

    I don’t think many parishes store or serve coffee in the nave.

  16. Steve says:

    I think that one of the reasons that most parishoners have not darkended the interior of the Confessional for many years is because the priest has not made it an important part of the parish.

    I wish that the priest would say before Communion something to the effect of “And now those who are properly prepared to receive the Eucharist may now come forward.” He could also give the schedule for next week’s confessions during the annoucements at the end of Mass.

    People need to be constantly reminded about the importance of Confession and there are many ways to gently knudge them towards the door of the Confessional.

  17. Max says:

    Father Z,

    With all due respect, I thought you were more intelligent that this. Did you not know that sin was banished from the world in the wake of Obama’s election?

  18. Central Valley Catholic says:

    Sad but true. Here in the diocese of Fresno, Ca. there is a large parish where one set of confessionals is used to stack chairs and stereo equipment. The confessionals not in use are near the altar of St. Joseph, on a routine basis chairs are stacked in front of the altar. The reward for the pastor…..Bp. John T. Steinbock just had him elevated to the ranks of monsignori. God help us.

  19. my kidz mom says:


  20. Patricia Gonzalez says:

    Oh wow, really sad …

  21. John Polhamus says:

    Conversely, in St. Joseph\’s Cathedral in San Diego, Ca – a church sadly abused during the past thirty-five years and criminally ignored as the city\’s cathedral since the early 1960\’s – the attentive new rector, Fr. Peter Escalante, has moved confessions from an awkward broom closet at the back of the Cathedral, right next to the cubical toilet stall (maybe the sound of flushing was meant to contribute to the sense of sacramental cleansing, though somehow I doubt it), out to one of the triple-doored confessionals in the nave. Unfortunately the confessional has had its interior walls removed, so one confesses from behind the priest on one side, or in front of him on the other, but clearly the message is that the Sacrament had been welcomed back into the body of the church (and the Body of the Church), is very plainly conveyed.

    Our City deserves for its Cathedral to set a better example. May this be a sign of the proper re-ordering, almost a rebirth, of St. Joseph\’s to better reflect the relationship between sacramentals, Sacraments, and the Mystical Body of Christ.

  22. Dennis says:

    I have visited a few churches where the confessionals were used for storage. As a side note I was in attendence at a first confession today where the confessionals were not used except for the rec-room and two stations one in the chaple and one near the altar before the confessions the pastor told the children that all were to confess face to face.

  23. I too have seen this abuse all too often. What’s ironic is that the cleaning supplies for the material world have substituted for the necessary cleaning of the spiritual world, and eternal life.

    It sends a clear message that Confession is unnecessary, just what the devil wants to promote.

  24. Magdalene says:

    Yes, once a holy cleansing took place in there…

    I hate ‘reconciliation’ rooms. I went into one church I was visiting and there was a large room and the priest was sitting in stree clothes in the middle of it on a chair with another chair right in front on him so we were about face to face.

    That was my brother’s parish. Now they have a new confessional with a HUGE glass window so that everyone can see in while one confesses. I guess this is to protect the priest from accusations. No thank you.

    Thanks be to God our two confessionals are more ‘old fashioned’ and not only that they are used 6 days a week!

  25. Athelstane says:

    While I have nothing against cleaning supplies per, I have to say that this must make it awfully difficult to sit down inside the confessional.

  26. RC says:

    (1) Well, a trash can is one metaphor for the confessional :-)

    (2) What’s behind the closed door: a vending machine?

    (3) Somebody needs to go to the Elfa store.

  27. Nemo says:

    One of our fantastic (FSSP) priests once stated that the sign of a healthy parish is long lines at the confessional. They hear confessions for a half hour before Mass. Sometimes they can’t finish everyone in line before Mass and have to hear the rest after Mass. I feel truly blessed to have lived to see the Catholic faith back in operation.

  28. big bertha says:

    Of course, confessionals or reconciliation rooms with solid doors can longer be used for confessions by children in many parts of the world (incl. England where I am from). Priests may only hear children’s confessionals where they can be seen and thus confessionals have be converted to have glass doors or walls. As many churches have more than one confessional, only one has typically been converted with the remainder used as storage or turned into devotional areas (i.e. alcoves for statutes etc). My own church had four confessionals, two have had large glass panels placed in the doors; one with the traditional dividing screen and one open place for face-to-face confession. All this has largely been implemented throughout the diocese since the implementation of new safeguarding children guidelines in response to the clerical child sexual abuse scandal(s). For first confessions when many priests are present, the priests are forced to also hear confessins on each side of the sanctuary (rather than in the sacristy or other more private areas) because of these difficulties and concerns.

  29. Legisperitus says:

    Oy vey.

  30. Jim says:

    At our FSSP parish the priest says confession before and after Mass. There is always a line. And he also talks about sin, Heaven, Hell and Purgatory in his homily. There is no doubt talking about sin, what it is, and its consequences matters, and brings people to the Confessional. In addition, making Confession widely available is a blessing, and needs to be encouraged.

  31. Daniel Muller says:

    My understanding is that the neogothic telephone booth in the West End Old Spaghetti Warehouse is from the Dallas cathedral.

  32. Ignatiangroupie says:

    This makes me sick, I am not surprised, but it makes me sick.

  33. LRThunder says:

    There’s a traditional confessional at my parish.

    Do we use it for Confession? Nope. We use it for storing music stands (guess it beats coffee and other assorted items). For Confession, we instead use a Reconciliation Room in the chapel, which at least has a screen.

    Of course, the parish got rid of the altar rail a long time ago.

  34. Dino says:

    Reminds me of the story of the priest who was instructing converts. He’d just explained that confessions are confidential and what is said in the confessional never leaves the confessional.
    He then took everyone to see the interior of a confessional. There sat a tape recorder.

  35. trespinos says:

    In my last parish before moving here, staffed by one priest alone, one of the two confessionals at the rear was also taken out of service for confessions. Instead of general storage, however, it was used to hold all the gifts of food and clothing for the poor that parishioners would bring to the church, at Mass and at other times, until the local St. Vincent de Paul volunteer could collect it all and bring it to their warehouse. In effect, it became a huge offering box for the poor, and, if it wasn’t going to be used for confessions, I can’t think of a better use for it.

  36. Very sad. A little more preaching about the sacrament and a little less coffee drinking might be in order.

  37. Marysann says:

    This picture reminded me of a restaurant my husband and I went to in Montreal many years ago. The booths were converted confessionals. At least they were no longer in a church when they were used for a secular purpose.

  38. Iosephus says:

    They did the same thing at Cornell with the confessionals – only that in addition to being turned into storage space, they were rented out as such to the Jews.

  39. Ann says:

    I think this is terrible!

    We don’t have nearly so pretty a confessional but at least the one in our parish is used every Saturday for the regularly scheduled time for confession.

    I sure hope they had two confessionals and the other one is set to its proper use!

  40. paul says:

    Father, I think this is very sad. When I go to confession I have seen at times the priest waiting waiting waiting for penitents to come to confession. When I see priests waiting for penitents I always think of Jesus waiting for us to repent. However to turn a confessional into a work closet to me is nothing short of blasphemous.

  41. And just why is there a coffee maker in there….

  42. Didymus says:

    But Father!
    I’m sure there is a lovely ‘reconciliation room’ somewhere on premises done in tasteful pastels with a print of the prodigal’s return hanging on the wall.

  43. Andreas Mulia says:

    Not only in USA, here in Jakarta – Indonesia more or less the same. Some peoples go to confession only prior to Christmas and Easter. Compare to 70s when people lined up at the confessional 30 mins before the mass but now no more.

    I never hear any priest talks about martial/grave sin or hell or purgatory or punishment or the state of grace anymore, only God is love always. Receiving communion is a routine along with the mass itself, either you are in the state of grace or not it does not matter. So why do we still need a confession?

    Every two months our family attends SSPX mass in Jakarta which we believe still in the true Catholic track that I learned in the past.
    What a bless if soon they come to a full jurisdiction.

  44. Maureen says:

    This breaks my heart

  45. Margaret says:

    Since the caption didn’t actually specify that the building was still being used as a church, I was afraid the interior would reveal a liquor cabinet and wet bar…

  46. Fr Fenton says:

    Does anyone else envision the Priest who did this seated along side Gaeta and Zarak?

    I’m just askin’!

  47. Larry says:

    I am not going to judge this based on one or two pictures. The confessional turned closet is a well constructed tradional piece. I therefore suspect that there may and probably are other confessionals in the church. It is not uncommon that an unused confessinal might be put to other purposes. Our Cathedral has one such confessional but it also has fove other confessionals that are used for the Sacrament of Rconciliation. On the surface the picture says one thing. Whether that one thing is an accurate understanding of what is happpening is another thing. I think it is better to keep the architecture intact than to destroy the unity by removing the unused item. Of course Maragret above has noted that this may not even be a church structure any longer so we do need a bit more information before feeling quite so disconsolate over the matter.

  48. Larry says:

    Add to last post. At least it does not appear that the priest is serving coffee and donuts during confession. Then we might have a serious issue.

  49. Fr Fenton says:


    It’s probably a print of the 70’s guy in jeans and the jacket being hugged by the big hippie Christ. That’s popular in those type of confessionals – er – reconciliation rooms.

  50. Jayna says:

    I wish we had real confessionals like that. I miss those from when I was a kid. My church has a room with a large glass window and a sheer curtain between the priest and penitent. I think it doubles as a cry room on Sundays.

    Is that in a church that is still in use? If so, I just…have no words. It boggles the mind.

  51. Our church had two confessionals which were ripped out and turned into alcoves. The Reconciliation Room is a cold, drafty vestibule for one of the side doors into the church. Highly impractical, but at least it does have a screen which blocks the priest’s view of the door. It was “out of order” today due to ongoing maintenance to the building, so I had to use the cry room (used to be one of the two sacristies). I sat with my back to the door and a kneeler to that those who wished to confess anonymously could without difficulty. Not the best option, but beat out using the drafty entranceway.

  52. The N.O. parish we used to attend uses theirs for a janitor’s closet and storage for the Christmas decorations.

    Very sad.

  53. Ed says:

    The parish where I grew up, The Oratory of St. Philip Neri, had two confessionals like this built into the South trancept in a renovation of the church in 1959. In the very early 1970’s (1971 if I remember correctly) the organ console and choir were moved from the choir loft to the front of the church, the Tabernacle was removed from the High Altar and the choir was placed on platforms built over the steps and footpace of the High Altar while the organ console was placed in front of one of the confessionals in the South trancept, and that confessional immediately became a filing cabinet for the organist and choir, from 1971 to 1996, I had only seen it used as a confessional once. Later in the 1970’s the other confessional was completely ripped out in another redecoration, and it became a chapel of the Sacred Heart dedicated to the third pastor of the parish. At some point pews were removed from the sides of the church at the back and two reconcilliation rooms were built, one of these reconcilliation rooms was later turned into a restroom. Sadly, the loss of the confessionals isn’t the worst thing to happen in this old church.

  54. Sandra in Severn says:

    Looking at the photos, if there were priests in the parish that would return to the confessionals, it would not be that great an effort to remove the shelving and putty-up the holes. At least these are still able to be used as confessionals with minimal effort. Reminds me of some military chapels, those that were set-up to be Catholic Chapels, were over the years co-opted by the other religious communities. Sad, very very sad.

  55. O.K., so… let’s pray for vocations to fill empty confessionals.

  56. Gil says:

    Out of four confessionals in the local parish church:
    – One has been converted into a shrine for Blessed Mary MacKillop
    – One has been converted into a Baptismal Font
    – One is used to store musical instruments
    – One has a door that doesn’t shut (and is therefore not often used).

    How does Father hear confessions? By sitting next to people in the pews of the church.

  57. Rob in Maine says:

    We have three at our parish. All are used to store folding chairs. Confessions are heard in the back hall (between a restroom and the sacristy).

    One a perhaps related note of unused Church items, we (the KofC) are having a pancake breakfast this Sunday after mass. I insisted we used all the plates, silverware, cups and saucers we have in the kitchen instead of paper plates and plastic forks: 1) we have them, 2) this is not a cook out 3) why generate trash?

  58. therese b says:

    Regarding the situation in England – I still take my son to an old fashioned confessional. As the priest enters by a separate door and is separated from the penitent by a wooden partition with a grille, I can’t see how the elfin safety mob can object. Who wants to confess from behind a glass door on view like a goldfish? Oh, this makes me very angry if this is about to be foisted on us all.

  59. Father Bartoloma says:

    When I see things like this I can’t help but think what a farce descriptions like “renewal” and “new springtime” are. Miserere nobis, Domine.

  60. Chris says:

    I don’t understand why the Novus Ordo churches ended the practice of confessions before Mass? We have it for an hour before our TLM and the lines are always longgggg.

    Who the heck has the time to go on a Saturday at 4 or a Tuesday at 11?

    It’s like the don’t want people to confess.

  61. Mrs Pi says:

    Is that a Parcheesi board just visible under the third (closed) door?

  62. Mitch says:

    Cound the practice of abandoning the Confessional booths have anything to do with the decline in confessions? I would think so, yes. IT was hard enough to enter the booth and confess sometimes grave sins, but not being able to see the Priest, or him see you was a sort of comfort. You felt like you were confessing to God, not the human being in front of you. Having to look your parish Priest right in the eyes may simply be too hard for someone confessing grave sin. They may just be inclined to stay away from the sacrament altogether. It is like adding insult to injury. No matter how you confess, when done face to face you will see tiny expressions (which may express thoughts of judgement), or visual disapproval, which can lead to whitewashing. Also with lay involvement with the Priest and clergy nowadays I doubt the “stars” of the parish are going to be up there confessing such grave sins which may damage their all too concerned about reputations..Confession should be made as comfortable as possible. We are talking about confessing to God, if you want to lay down on a couch or look at someone while you talk and see their sympathetic reactions, go to a therapist’s office. I know of many who loathe confession in this way, myself included. Again another loss of mystery, and alteration in sacramental practice has led to its’ decline. When are those people at the top gonna learn?

  63. Fr Francis Coveney says:

    In the five parishes where I have worked for the last 26 years all (yes all) of them have had confessions either just before or just after the Saturday evening Mass and sadly the lines are not long.

    I don’t think the problem is with the Ordinary or Extraordinary Form of Mass.

    The problem is with people who have not received a sound religious education and who misunderstand what we mean by “following our conscience”.

  64. Fr Francis Coveney says:

    In each of these five parishes penitents have always had the option of staying behind a screen or going face to face.

  65. Fr Francis Coveney says:

    In most places in Continental Europe the priest cnnot see who is coming to confession – and the penitents kneel to one or other side of the priest but are in full view of everyone else in the church.

    I always wondered why this was so when I was doing my theology in Rome.

    After all the dreadful scandals of the last 20 years, I’m sure the reason for this was so that everyone else in the church would act as chaperones.

  66. Henry Edwards says:

    Fr. Francis Coveney: I don’t think the problem is with the Ordinary or Extraordinary Form of Mass.

    In every traditional Latin Mass community or parish I’ve attended, there have always been lines for confession before and (usually) after every Sunday Mass. In none of the many ordinary parishes I’ve attended in recent decades has this been the case.

  67. Abigail says:

    Disused confessionals are the perfect place to nurse a fussy baby during Mass. One warning, though: make sure you don’t pick the one where the ushers keeps the collection baskets. Don’t ask me how I know.

  68. MArk S. says:

    I’m tempted to say “It could be worse!” The second confessional in my parish church was converted a few years ago into the boiler room for the new central heating system. (And even with the remaining confessional, you’re lucky if you can get the Pastor to actually hear confessions… but that’s another story, and I’ll only repeat it if people want me to!)

  69. Coletta says:

    Wow, that photo made me sad. What a wonderful confessional.

  70. Andrew, UK and sometimes Canada says:

    Some positive news perhaps: My OF parish still uses the confessional for (gasp!) confession. During Mass, however, when our only priest is at the altar, they happen to double as a strong room for the collection.

  71. Manrique Zabala de Arízona says:

    I was scared it would have been turned into something else. FAR worse…

  72. TJM says:

    Is this a commentary on the state of religious life in that parish = trash. Tom

  73. Jeff Pinyan says:

    But Father, it’s a modern take on “confessonciliation”.

    Notice the middle “closet”. Our sins are are like filth before the Lord that need to be thrown into the garbage can. Sin has the odor of old over-brewed coffee. We need to offer God a pleasing aroma of Folger’s Crystals, not Sanka.

    And the right “closet”. I think I see cleaning supplies, which reminds us of our need to get scrubbed up by the Lord. There are little file-folder boxes, which represent… something. And the rest is food accessories, calling to mind the meal that God prepares for us at Liturgy (whether or not we actually to go confessonciliation.

  74. Christopher Sarsfield says:

    All you people that attend the TLM sound so elitist, bragging about your long lines for confession. You better watch out, the bishop might take away your Mass. See Archbishop’s Dolan’s letter on implementing the Pope’s Motu Proprio. :)

  75. Eino says:

    In my former parish there were four functional confessionals, arranged so that there was a choice of face-to-face or behind a screen.
    However, the pastor mentioned confession twice during Masses I attended referring to Penance as “a minor sacrament”. He preferred to hear confessions wearing chinos and sport shirt standing in the pews mid-nave.
    In my new parish, when they hear confessions as scheduled, the priests use confesionals in which the penitent can chose anonymous or not.

  76. SMJ says:

    Im my parish (OF) we have a newly built confessinal and very long lines for confession every Sundays or holidays…

  77. Jenny Z says:

    Heartbreaking. There are some days when I feel like we’re losing the battle.

  78. Dennis says:

    Big Bertha says ” confessionals or reconciliation rooms with solid doors can longer be used for confessions by children in many parts of the world (incl. England where I am from). Priests may only hear children’s confessionals where they can be seen and thus confessionals have be converted to have glass doors or walls. As many churches have more than one confessional, only one has typically been converted with the remainder used as storage or turned into devotional areas (i.e. alcoves for statutes etc). My own church had four confessionals, two have had large glass panels placed in the doors; one with the traditional dividing screen and one open place for face-to-face confession. All this has largely been implemented throughout the diocese since the implementation of new safeguarding children guidelines in response to the clerical child sexual abuse scandal(s). For first confessions when many priests are present, the priests are forced to also hear confessins on each side of the sanctuary (rather than in the sacristy or other more private areas) because of these difficulties and concerns.”

    If we went back to the use of the traditional confessional with the partitions between priest and penitents I don’t think there would have to be any worry of a priest having any physical contact with a penitent”

  79. Jayna says:

    Henry: “In every traditional Latin Mass community or parish I’ve attended, there have always been lines for confession before and (usually) after every Sunday Mass. In none of the many ordinary parishes I’ve attended in recent decades has this been the case.”

    I still don’t think we can lay it at the feet of the OF. It has more to do with the type of people attracted to each kind of Mass. People who regularly attend EF Masses are more likely to have been properly catechized (that is an unsubstantiated claim, of course, but I think I have reasonable cause to assume so), whereas in OF parishes, we are more likely to have a complete lack of catechism and emphasis solely on religion broadly. I can say that is the problem in my parish. It isn’t the Masses themselves, it’s how they’ve come to describe the communities that form around them.

  80. little gal says:

    “In every traditional Latin Mass community or parish I’ve attended, there have always been lines for confession before and (usually) after every Sunday Mass. In none of the many ordinary parishes I’ve attended in recent decades has this been the case.”

    I attend a parish run by Opus Dei priests and only the OF of the Mass is offered. When I entered the 11:00am today, the line for confession stretched almost from the front of the church to the back. I also think that it is isn’t the form of the Mass, but how the formation of the laity is handled.

  81. Mary Firiel says:

    I incline to agree with Larry. Perhaps this area/building is no longer part of the church itself, and they have another confessional… At my parish when we built our new church (visible here: ) the old one was deconsecrated and made into the parish hall, and the confession rooms (we didn’t have confessionals per se, but don’t worry it wasn’t face-to-face, it was two rooms with a grate-window between them) are now storage space. I don’t think this is blasphemy.

  82. I’d like my penance with two creams, two sugars please…

  83. Nathan says:

    Henry Edwards, I think that you point to a trend regarding the OF and lines at Confession. I love the TLM as much as anyone here, and up to seven or eight years ago, I would have heartily agreed with you in the whole. However, I’ve personally seen a number of priests who are firmly committed to the Novus Ordo who preach confession and have huge lines (Fr Groeshel’s Franciscans are an example). I had a pastor who was (and I think still is) very opposed to personally saying the TLM (I think he’s fine with other priests offering it) who, in his first act as pastor, expanded the Saturday confessions to seven days a week and personally spent one to two hours daily in the confessional. There was never a time I went to confession there when I didn’t have to wait for at least seven to eight people ahead of me. This pastor’s theological approach was very traditional (and very Carmelite).

    That said, it seems to be the exception rather than the rule. However, the correlation you state might be more of a theological than a liturgical issue.

    In Christ,

  84. jedesto says:

    Having lived as a Catholic for over 85 years, I believe that the Sacraments are more important than their form and their surroundings, and I hope to spend eternity in the presence of God and his saints, where every tear will be wiped away and all elitists will have graduated from purgatory.

  85. Ohio Annie says:

    Chris, my novus ordo parish has confessions before every Mass and after every weekday Mass until all are heard. Just because a parish has the novus ordo Mass doesn’t mean it is less faithful or does things wrong.

  86. Ohio Annie says:

    I neglected to also say that at my parish there are such lines for confession that people with tight work schedules complain about not being able to go to confession but every two or three months.

  87. Curtis says:

    My parish’s traditional 3-door confessional has been gutted into a small “reconciliation room”. It’s an odd arrangement. So uncomfortable with the past. How does one explain to a visitor why we have three doors into a room smaller than a bathroom?

    That being said, I don’t mind the room at all. It is good for spiritual direction and counseling. The two chairs are angled towards a crucifix and there’s a small table with a Bible on it. No pastels or cheesy paintings.

  88. rosebudsal says:

    At the parish where I grew up there is a wall of traditional confessionals, but I’m not sure how often they get used– probably mostly for city wide reconciliation services. I know they were used when the relic of St. Jude was in town, but I think most often people go into a confessional room, where they can choose to go behind a screen or face-to-face.

    At my parish, there is just one confessional– it’s also a room, but the screen is large enough for anonymity, plus there is a kneeler. Every time I’ve gone, there’s been a line. Yesterday, the pastor is very good at reminding those of us in the pews of the need for regular confession. Twice a year we have reconciliation services– no general absolution ever! I have heard that people believe that Confession is no longer needed. I got into a fight about it with one of my cousins. I teach catechism at my parish and I had just given the students a lesson on the importance of Confession, so I tried to gently correct her, but it wasn’t taken in a spirit of charity I’m afraid.

    It saddens me to see the demise of confessionals. I’ve done both face-to-face and behind the screen. I prefer the latter, but when I made my first Confession after a long time away, I went face-to-face. Of course most times before I go, I’m nervous and anxious, but I always feel like I’ve gained something spiritually by going.

  89. rosebudsal says:

    I also agree with Ohio Annie above. My parish is an novus ordo parish and incredibly faithful and Mass is always celebrated with reverence and honor. There is always a line for confession on Saturdays as well. Sometimes long, sometimes short but I think there’s always someone who shows up besides the priest.

  90. Mary says:


  91. Father X says:

    The parish in question is one that is kept open in the diocese for use by the pro-life movement as it is near
    a Planned Parenthood abortion mill. Nearly every Saturday morning, (all except the fifth Saturday of the
    month) priests from the diocese come in to say Mass and lead a rosary procession to the Mill down the street.
    I usually hear confessions during the rosary and adoration period, but sadly in a ‘broom closet’ instead of
    a nice confessional like this one.

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