Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Say what you will about Pope Francis,  but His Holiness has promoted the Sacrament of Penance. Is it paying off?

I can remember the horrible drop in Confessions almost overnight after Vatican II (with a lot of other horrible drop-offs in Catholic practice).

But over the years, my own experience sees things shifting. In Macon, when I got there in 2004, only one priest was needed for Confessions on Saturday and I wasn't busy for most of the hour. But with my encouraging my parishioners  to go regularly, eventually we needed two priests and we were busy the whole hour and when I had a third priest we all were kept busy.

Then we added daily Confessions prior to our 8 AM Mass at 7:30 AM.

I have a priest friend who has two parochial vicars and they hear Confessions each Sunday DURING THE MASS! He says that tremendous numbers of people go. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT, DURING MASS?

I am hearing Confessions extra times during Lent. Each Wednesday from 6:15 to 7:20 PM and each Friday following the Stations of the Cross at 7 PM.

So what do you think of this:

Catholics are Invited to Confession March 21, During “Be Reconciled” Day

Chicago Tribune 


Henry said...

"I have a priest friend who has two parochial vicars and they hear Confessions each Sunday DURING THE MASS! He says that tremendous numbers of people go. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT, DURING MASS?"

How else to accommodate everyone? When the line for confessions starting 45 min before Mass is too long for everyone to get in before Mass begins. Though for us, its the other way around, with the assistant celebrating our EF Mass and our (OF only) pastor hearing confessions.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

At St. John Cantius in Chicago they hear confessions before the Masses on Sunday.They usually have 3 or 4 priests hearing confessions, and there usually are at least 3 to 10 people waiting. They also hear confessions Saturday late afternoon, before the 5:00 pm Mass, but those don't seem to be very crowded.

Right before Christmas and very much right before Easter (say 2 weeks before) the waits can be long.

I try to get there early so that I can have completed going to confession before the Mass begins, but if the Mass starts and I'm in line, it's fine, as long as I'm not in the confessional during the Gospel or during the Consecration.

I'll bet if they had confessions just before and during Mass, a lot more people would go.

God bless.

Mark Thomas said...

My experience is that His Holiness Pope Francis has revived desire among many Catholics to go to Confession.

A parish near me just added an additional weekly hour during which confessions will be heard.

From the beginning of Pope Francis Pontificate to date, parishes in my area have increased dramatically the amount of hours each week during which the Holy Sacrament of Penance has been offered.

Deo gratias for Pope Francis. He is our great Culture of Life Pope. He promotes peace, forgiveness, mercy...he promotes the Holy Sacrament of Penance.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Pope Francis, early in his Pontificate, and in powerful fashion, promoted Confession, prayer, and fasting.

He did so on September 7, 2013 A.D., when he set aside that day to call for "forgiveness, dialogue, reconciliation – these are the words of peace, in beloved Syria, in the Middle East, in all the world!

"Let us pray this evening for reconciliation and peace, let us work for reconciliation and peace, and let us all become, in every place, men and women of reconciliation and peace! So may it be."

On that day, "perhaps what struck those present the most was the entrance into the square, at the beginning of the celebration, of the Marian icon of “Salus Populi Romani," carried by four halberdiers of the Swiss Guards and preceded by two little girls with bouquets of flowers.

"The icon was enthroned in front of Pope Francis, who venerated it devoutly. It was a point of reference for the entire vigil, beside the altar."




Mark Thomas

Carol H. said...

IMHO it is Mother Angelica and the priests at EWTN who have brought back the importance of confession, just as Mother Angelica taught Catholics about Eucharistic Adoration.

Admittedly, I am an EWTN Media Missionary, so I may be a wee bit biased!

Pietro said...

Practice of hearing confessions during Mass is quite common in European countries.

But I would like to share some other observation. In Poland, my home country, relatively many people go to Confessions on regular basis (especially on first Fridays). However, only 40-50% of regular churchgoers, would receive Holy Communion (those numbers almost double during Christmas and Easter). This is completely opposite to what I see in United States (or at least in Georgia). In a quite big parish of mine, priest is never too busy in confessional, but on Sundays, almost everyone receives Holy Communion.

What are your thoughts on that?