Monday, April 25, 2005

It's a Good Thing

There are many things I am dissatisfied with in my current town-of-residence, but I am lucky in one thing: the local Catholic church has a priest who makes confession frequently available. Judging from the complaints I've read online, this is unusual. In many Catholic churches around America, confessions are only scheduled twenty to thirty minutes, once a week. Many priests never preach about the need for confession. I've even heard people say they've known priests to be dismissive of the need for confession. What a shame that many people have little access to one of the greatest gifts the Church offers! Or worse, that they are being deluded into thinking they don't need this particular gift.

In my local church, the priest makes confession available before and after every weekend mass; time is limited before mass, for obvious reasons, but he will stay as long as there are people in line after mass. He also has confession available for First Friday masses and the usual "by appointment", and of course there are penance services in Advent and Lent. Most remarkably, this priest mentions confession from the pulpit. I appreciate this. I still occasionally miss the church I attended in my last town, but even if there were nothing else to recommend this church (there are), the local priest's commitment to making confession readily available makes the church in this town one of the few things here I am satisfied with.

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