Fathers… people will go to confession if you preach about it and then sit in the box!

From a reader:

I finally went to confession after a long time away, and, today, I
made the total consecration to Jesus through Mary. I am very happy and
very grateful to you for all your posts about confession throughout
the year! Thank you, Father! Please pray for me, as I will for you,
through the Blessed Virgin, and may you have a much blessed and merry

It isn’t rocket science.

Everyone… go to confession. Priests… bishops… hear confessions.

And here are some tips.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. KAS says:

    I would LOVE to see long lines for confession twice a week at least. I once attempted confession at St Mary’s near TX A&M university and there was such a long line that even though I had arrived EARLY for confession, they ran out of time before it was our turn. I bet there were more than 30 students there to go to confession. I was impressed. I mean, I liked the priest there because he seemed to have a knack for getting college age people to attend Mass, hang out at the student center next to the church, and even consider vocations, but I was even more impressed when I had to stand in that line for confession. It was great!

  2. Dr. Sebastianna says:

    Happily, I know a Priest who promotes Confession. In addition to listing the times that Confessions are heard, Father puts multiple little “ads” for it in the church bulletin, calling it the “Sacrament of God’s Healing Love” and the “Sacrament of Peace” and encouraging people to make appointments. There are lines for confession at this church. People even come from other churches… I wish that other Priests would do things like this : – )

  3. APX says:

    Weekly Confession is probably the greatest thing to ever happen to me. We have it daily at our parish and our priest promotes it greatly.

    I had a very strong and unexpected reversion after my Confession of being away for 10 years or so, and I think I had what’s called a “Confession of Conversion.” I thought I was just going to be back in the state of Grace and going to Mass on Sunday regularly again, but no, that hasn’t been the case. I think I fell in love with the Church, and God might have bigger plans for me. Not too sure, but I do wish to stress to priests, bishops, and people how wonderful this sacrament is and I could see a full revival of the sacrament doing good things for the Church. Perhaps an “Occupy the Confessional” protest is in order…lol!

  4. Joy says:

    We don’t have an actual confessional, and so even though our bulletin state confessions are offered “after Mass”, there is no priest sitting and waiting for people, and so no one avails themselves of this Sacrament. The confession-room is one of those rooms with chairs and a bench, flowers, etc… ( luckily, no tissues!). I think if we had a “real” confessional and a priest waiting, people would go since I have heard some people say they hoped we would start regular confession times for Advent.

  5. Marie Teresa says:

    “before or after Mass” and “call for an appointment”

    The priest isn’t in the Confessional waiting. He has to be tracked down and pulled away from other duties and/or parishioners. 

    People who haven’t made Confession a habit – especially the young people – say it calls way too much attention to oneself and feel the sacrament is to be used only in case of emergency.  

    After hearing my confession following Mass, he twice literally ran to the rectory, looking as though he was late.   (In a crowd, I’m one of the fastest … not long-winded or looking for counseling)

    If I call or email to ask when’s a good time … the answer is always a smiling, joyful “anytime.” 

    It’s a two-hour drive one direction to reach a priest with regularly scheduled Confession times, passing by a dozen other parishes. 

    It’s a 2.5 hour drive one direction to reach a priest who’s celebrating weekday Mass more than 2-3 times a week. 

    Having gone to Mass 7 days a week and Confession weekly for over 15 years, I find myself in a diocese where the sacraments aren’t available.  The priests have “more important” duties. 

    Without the strength received through these sacraments, I don’t know how to hold my spiritual life together.  It seems to diminish considerably from one year to the next.  Unfortunately, the job is here. 

  6. Supertradmum says:

    Here in Malta and in some other places in Europe, one must ask a priest to hear one’s Confession. There is only one parish out of the entire city of twelve where there are scheduled Confessions once a week before an early Sunday Mass. This is a scandal. Some people have told me they have not been to Confession in years. I blame the clergy. It takes a great deal of bravery, or a habit of Confession to seek out a priest and ask. In addition, a very odd custom, Confessions here, even in the Cathedral, are not done in the Confessional or even in a room set aside for such, but in the sacristies, and only when someone goes out of his or her way to ask. This has been true at at least three parishes here. I find it very odd. It seems to be a custom to hear Confessions in the sacristies, as I have seen two very old men and two women older than myself doing this since I have been here. I, too, go to Confession in the sacristy. Everyone sees what is going on. I do not care, but I am sure some people would find this very off-putting.

  7. CarismaTeaCo says:

    Confessions are sometimes held Fridays @ 4:30 or by appointment. Some weeks not at all. Last time I went to a 4:30 session there were 3 of us waiting. The two ladies in front of me spent 45 minutes EACH talking with the priest!

    All but 1 of our 6 confessionals are used for storing bleach and single kneelers.

    Our parish council and liturgy committees include well over half the members who believe ‘it’s not all about confession’ including both priest who insist the Kyrie Eleison ‘is’ our confessing of sins. Other church members prefer to go to ‘general confessions’.

    I need confession; I”m
    trying to make it to the area Traditional Mass, which offers confession ‘before all Masses as much as possible and upon request’

  8. letchitsa1 says:

    In our area, three of the four parishes offer confessions at least twice a week, and two of them offer confessions daily. From what I have seen, the priest is always there. I hear the stories of others, and I am reminded how truly fortunate we are around here. I just hope and pray that others, myself included, will remember to make frequent use of those opportunities.

  9. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Marie, I am sorry you have such a terrible cross. If there is a reason and purpose and good thing that God makes of everything maybe He is preparing you to help others somehow who also haven’t access to the sacraments for whatever reason. I mean spiritually helping through prayer. Certainly you are making sacrifices galore right now and He knows what to do with them that are offered up. So this may be training somehow rather than an accidental bad situation.

    It is possible that the situation for us will get worse and we will end up like the faithful in China.

  10. Joy says:

    Yes, it is similar in my area, and it is difficult to gather the courage to go up to the priest while he is with a group of people and request confession — it shouldn’t be, but it is. (small town, everyone knows everyone else) The first two times I gathered the courage to ask our priest, he said he couldn’t because he didn’t have the time. This, of course, made the third time (different priest or I may not have asked) even more of a challenge for me, but I guess third time was a charm. We, too, are far from a parish church which offers scheduled “priest in the box” confessions – about 3 hours away. The price I pay for living out in the boondocks.

    I will hold you to my prayers.

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