Louisville, KY: 10-12 July: Conference for priests on being a better confessor

I have been harping on the need for a revival of the Sacrament of Penance.  This means that priests have to hear confessions and preach about confession.  As a matter of fact, if Pope Benedict has a “Marshall Plan” for reviving our Catholic identity, maybe we need a “Manhattan Project” for a revival of the Sacrament of Penance.

In any event, I received new from a priest who reads here that there is going to be a conference in July in Louisville, KY for confessors (“confessors” are priests who have the faculty regularly to receive sacramental confessions). Here is the conference blurb at the conference site:

The Thomistic Institute is pleased to offer this conference for diocesan priests interested in practical strategies to become better confessors, to increase the practice of confession in their parishes, and to exercise more fruitfully their spiritual fatherhood in this important ministry. Prompted by the call of Pope Benedict to renew the ministry of confessor and guided by the wisdom of the Thomistic tradition, the conference consists of practical talks and roundtable discussions on issues of immediate relevance to the life of contemporary priests. Led by an impressive cadre of experienced and knowledgeable speakers, and set in a comfortable fraternal atmosphere, with meals together, it offers ample time for prayer, rest, and recreation.

There is plenty more information at the conference site.  However, I am also told that there will be special hotel rates for the reverend attendees and there will be a shuttle to the conference venue which is St. Louis Bertrand Church.

I am pretty sure that this is for Catholic priests only.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Brick by Brick, GO TO CONFESSION, Mail from priests, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood, The future and our choices and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Bill Strom says:

    VERY GOOD FATHER!!! This is so important but I find priests, in general, don’t seem to like confession much. I think it is the devil tempting them. How many of the great priest saints specialized in this Sacrament? No mater all the work we do in evangelization or even prayer but it doesn’t bear fruit of frequent confession, I think it is temporary fruit. We learn humility and perseverance and create a spiritual mind through this Sacrament. Our Lady joined special devotion to Her by including it with devotion to Her in the First Saturdays. Jesus has linked confession to the devotion to the Eucharist in the First Friday devotions. I think if there were return to regular confession through out the Church and making confessions available before all masses and on Sundays before all masses, you would see a revival of the Faith not yet seen!! I think some diocese have forbidden confessions being hear on a regular basis on Sundays! Is this true?

  2. A Dominican Priest says:

    Though the conference is for diocesan priests, the conference organizers have received a couple requests from transitional deacons, and have decided that, though it is not “officially” advertised as such, transitional deacons are also welcome to attend.

  3. asophist says:

    A priest in the confessional once told me, “You can’t keep coming in here with the same sins, over and over again.” Well, that little remark kept me out of the confessional for years with, of course, the same sins piling higher and higher and sins getting worse and worse; whereas, getting to confession regularly was at least keeping me from getting worse. A course for priests on how to deal with penitents sounds like a great idea. Maybe it will keep them from chasing people out of the confessional for years on end, at the peril of souls.

  4. jmhj5 says:

    But Father–
    I have heard Father Groeschel say it is ok (several times to be involved with the Masons). He has said this on his tv program. Later that week a female had a lawyer on that tv channel explained how evil the Masons were. I get confused when we stray from Catholic teaching.
    The Holy Fathers have only said the Shriners were ok to deal with for their burn teatment. Which set my heart at rest. Fr. Groeschel is helping with the conference.
    Mary help us!

  5. Marie Teresa says:

    You’re in the confessional a total of 3-4 minutes, and Father treats you as though you’re bothersome … yes, priests need instruction on the Sacrament of Confession.

    I do confess in kind and number and have it prepared ahead and am not seeking direction or counseling. Possibly he just needs more penitents for comparison as when it’s offered, I’m frequently the only one there.

    When I lived in the city and was one of 30-40 in line for the Sacrament, the priests appreciated my brevity. Now that I’m the only one, It hurts to have the priest look down his nose at me as though I’m a nuisance.

  6. Banjo pickin girl says:

    asophist, that’s terrible. at least some of the priests at my parish pretend they don’t know who you are! i thought they were not supposed to remember your sins but i guess they do! we need to keep going though because we need it, not because they have to do it. like we have to keep going to Mass even though sometimes it seems like there is such a mercenary attitude there that God can’t possibly be involved.

    jmh, i am a convert and gave up on ewtn long ago for its strange mixture of orthodoxy and everything else. there is a strong dose of pentecostal protestantism there too. fr. Groeschel i think is being put up with for personal reasons as i have heard him say things that gave me pause as well. God doesn’t get angry because God never changes? he seems to have a good heart but doesn’t understand that other people don’t. he certainly doesn’t understand the complexities of Freemasonry, which is for those who are of a liturgical/ ceremonial bent but refuse to believe.

  7. JonPatrick says:

    For the record, Fr. Groeschel has backed off his statements, saying he was mistaken and Catholics are not allowed to join the Masons, although they are allowed to assist them in their good works, such as working at the Shriner burn hospitals. I think we can recognize that they along with many other organizations that do good works (e.g. the Salvation Army) may hold doctrines that do not agree with church teachings but that does not prevent us from cooperating with them.

  8. Random Friar says:

    Are religious order priests excluded?

  9. leonugent2005 says:

    I went to confession this morning. I did not begin by saying bless me Father for I have sinned and I did not do a kind and number confession. Perhaps I wasted my time and Father’s as well

  10. leonugent2005 says:

    Marie Teresa it was a good thing that you reminded me that this is what traditional priests are looking for, kind and number. I may have caused an offense by my very confession!

  11. asperges says:

    I have always thought there is a real problem with assessing a mutually “satisfactory” Confession. I do not mean this in a theological way, but feedback in the modern sense. It seems to me that a penitent is in no position to challenge a priest whose advice he is receiving nor is there really a means of following it through. Very occasionally I have been given a very liberal or unorthodox set of advice. I just remained silent. I could hardly say as a penitent, “that is just not what the Church teaches,” or “if that is of no account, why do you suppose I have come here to confess it?”

    Nor, should we be so inclined, could we take up some problem with a superior: an anonymous letter is useless; the seal of Confession disallows time, place, evidence – and who wants to spell out the x and the y of who said what in the course of a private Confession? Even if one did, the priest is not at liberty to do so: it would would be entirely an unfair process.

    Some priests are easier and more comfortable with the practice of this Sacrament than others. Some one might preferably avoid. I did know of one old-time parish priest who would deliberately listen in to what his curate was saying to penitents, presumably with a view to making sure his advice was sound. One curate I went to clearly had a script to follow and painfully read it out.

    The penitent does not know best and there is a requirement to be humble (otherwise why be there?) not challenging. And of course with reflexion, the seemingly odd advice might just prove to be good advice. What one can say is that the good confessor stands out easily and is great source of grace and inspiration to others. God give us the grace to appreciate this Sacrament.

Comments are closed.