GUEST POST: “…and my wife said, ‘But that’s a good thing!'”

From a reader:

Since you like to hear of such things…my wife and I are “reverts”.

For about a year now. Last year we made a pact to not miss mass for all of advent, which started us down the path to such things as reading your blog, actually learning about our faith, and my wife wearing a veil. We unknowingly made that pact on the start of the Year of Faith without realizing it until a few weeks ago.

Anyway, we went to confession last Saturday at our fairly large church. We showed up 7 minutes after Saturday afternoon confessions started and there were, no fooling, 37 people in front of us. When we left the church (30 minutes later, with 30 minutes left for confessions) there were 13 people in line. There were four priests hearing confessions.

I groaned when we walked in and saw the line and my wife said, “But that’s a good thing!”

Ages ranged from what looked like 10 to 60, with the average age being pretty young.

We’ve been going to confessions fairly regularly and it’s one of the largest crowds we’ve seen. Evidently this whole confession thing might be getting popular.

I remind the readership of #3 in my 20 Tips For Making A Good Confession.

Above all…


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    In my parish, we schedule confessions on Monday evenings, Wednesday mornings, and Saturday afternoons. We are also available by appointment outside these times, or people can see us before Mass etc. We schedule for an hour each slot, but stay till all are heard after the hour is over. Three priests are present every time, and all three of us are busy usually the whole time. If out parishes schedule confessions and really make them available, I believe people will come. There is a growing hunger for it, praise The Lord. A worthy confession can change your life. It did mine. And I I re-echo the wise advise and exhortation of Fr. Z: “GO TO CONFESSION”

  2. ChrisRawlings says:

    Young Catholics definitely have a great love for confession. The median age of Mass-goers in my parish is at least sixty. But the median age of penitents in line for confession is maybe a little more than 30 or 40. It is a great joy for me, a 29 year-old who confesses regularly, to see that. There is so much hand-wringing about young people these days, and much of it is perhaps legitimate. But young Catholics in America are less affected by the neuralgic understanding of sin that still grips baby boomers. Yes, sin is real, and, no, that doesn’t mean you need a therapist. Maybe you need that too, but that isn’t the place to absolve sin.

    The generational shift kind of mirrors the ability of young people to wrest themselves free from the baggage of Roe v. Wade and begin to profess the sanctity of unborn life without feeling like you are betraying the all women and girls.

  3. Priam1184 says:

    Congratulations to the ‘reverts’ from a fellow revert. And to everybody else out there: GO TO CONFESSION. It is a fine thing (a proper examination of conscience and 5 minutes in the confessional are worth more than 3 billion years of $300/hr psychotherapy) and IT IS NOT OPTIONAL.

  4. Mike says:

    It is edifying, indeed thrilling, to be part of an increasingly Confession-minded band of fellow sinners, and gratifying to be a Christian today when it is still not only possible, but in some cases growing easier (and increasingly encouraged!), to avail oneself of this life-giving Sacrament.

    Thank you for this post, Father, and for you and your fellow priests’ patient availability for penitents. You are all in my prayers.

  5. Patti Day says:

    Last month I waited an hour, and I chose the shorter of the two lines. The church serves a large university, and the majority were young. The priest asked me if I noticed how many were waiting. I told him only one, but when I went out, there were three. Very encouraging.

  6. Rachel Pineda says:

    That is a very good thing to hear. Thank God for priests.

  7. JoyIsLikeTheRain says:

    You may not have to be restricted to the confession schedule of your parish. If needed, find other parishes that have convenient confession schedules. I felt blessed to discover a parish only 30 minutes out of my way home from work. This parish heard confessions after the DAILY 7PM mass (except 1st Wed & 3rd Fri, PM on Sat). Even then, I found I still had to wait 15-30 minutes until my turn. “But that’s a good thing!”

  8. Nan says:

    My parish has confession 6 days a week and there’s usually a line; a rare exception was Halloween. I guess people had other priorities that day. I was excited because there were only a few people in front of me. This week, I couldn’t make it to my parish but found one with Wed. 7pm confessions and 2 priests not far from my mom’s house which was more convenient at the moment. I was excited because the other possibility was crazy ridiculous early 6:30 confessions at a parish near home. AND I got the baby priest who is a lovely confessor.

  9. bombermac says:

    Great suggestion by JoyIsLikeTheRain. Near the end of Lent I was in southern Maryland, and I wanted to go to confession. I missed the times offered by the local parishes, but the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception was relatively close, and it’s a wonderful site to visit anyway, so I made the trip. I got to attend daily Mass while I was there, and I lined up for chance to walk into one of several busy confessionals. (I also got a chance to spend some money at the basilica’s gift shops, but that was really just gravy.)

    Yesterday my wife and I got to make a confession, and our eldest daughter (7) made her first confession. Such a beautiful day. What a wonderful gift we mortals have been given in the Sacrament of Penance!

    On a related note, if you’re trying to ensure you go confession more regularly, try marking down the last time you went somewhere you’re likely to see it (a magnetic whiteboard hanging on the refrigerator would probably be ideal). The more distant that date becomes, the more likely you’ll feel the pull to go to confession. If you’ve got an iPhone, there’s an app called Last Time which fills a very similar function–just list whenever when you last went to confession (or attended daily Mass, prayed the breviary, or anything you’re trying to track and improve), and whenever you open the app, it’ll show you how long it’s been and the average amount of time spent between intervals.

  10. aviva meriam says:

    my parish also has confession 6 days a week with lines of people waiting patiently. Unfortunately, there are times when the priests cannot hear everyone waiting (Mass scheduled, etc). Yesterday, I went to the parish near school and discovered that even with visiting priests, that parish had a long line. Grateful I was able to wait, Grateful for the priests, and also grateful people are returning to the sacrament.

  11. JonPatrick says:

    My parish which already had confessions on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, has added Sunday 4 PM for Advent. That’s before the youth/young adult Mass so maybe that will encourage more young people to go.

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