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Andrew Anonymous wrote:

Hello,

I am a confirmed Roman Catholic and when I moved to a new diocese several years ago noticed more and more Catholic parishes not posting Reconciliation schedules outside the church.

I thought all Catholic Churches were required to post the Mass and Reconciliation schedules outside of the church. If that is not a rule, it sure should be!

I stopped going to Mass because of this issue. I cannot in clean conscience attend a Church that does not have the sacrament of Reconciliation available on a regular basis. It is impossible to be a practicing Catholic in my diocese or parish when the sacrament of Reconciliation is only available a few times per year.

I confronted my local priest about this issue a couple years ago, and he said, I should just chase him down after Mass and he would be happy to hear my Confession. I did that and he refused to hear my Confession because he needed to leave town for something.

I brought this issue to the bishop and he didn't care. He said I should resolve this issue with the local priest. I honestly feel the Pope needs to make a rule that all parishes in the world are required to post the Mass and Reconciliation schedules outside the parish church.

This is such a basic fundamental part of our Faith. I can't believe I have to even bring this issue up.

  • How can anyone practice the Catholic faith when you only have the sacrament of Reconciliation available a few times per year?

Before this problem happened, I attended Mass every Sunday and almost all Holy days of obligation for years! Now I never go to Mass because I have zero respect for the diocese I am in. None at all. I would rather go to jail than attend Mass and I used to love going to Mass. It used to be my highlight of my week or day.

I used to go to Mass every day, for years. Now I can't stand it. I would go to Confession immediately if I had a good priest that would ensure me he would have the sacraments available for everyone on a regular basis.

I know priests are busy but the sacrament of Reconciliation should be the top priority for a priest.

I previously thought about a vocation to the priesthood myself for years. The main driving force was, and still is, is the sacrament of Reconciliation!

  • Representing Jesus Christ
  • absolving sins, and
  • giving a bit of advice

is the highest honor in the entire world and I am very upset this issue is taking a back seat in my diocese and other parishes around the country.

Andrew

  { How can we practice the Catholic faith when sacrament of Reconciliation is so infrequent? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Andrew —

  • Why not call the rectory and make an appointment with the priest for Confession?

I hear your frustration and I agree that regular Confession should be available, but it doesn't justify committing the grave sin of not going to Mass. You're cutting off your nose to spite your face. I suspect what's happening is that priests have been setting aside time for Confession and no one shows up (or few people), wasting their time. Of course, the priest should be preaching the virtues of the sacrament as a solution, rather than curtailing Confession time.

Don't judge based on your one experience with the priest refusing Confession. The priest's schedule is such that inconveniences are bound to happen occasionally — you just picked a bad day. Call the rectory and make an appointment next time.

I urge you not to cut yourself off from the source of grace by not going to Mass. That is not going to solve anything but jeopardize your salvation.

Eric

Mike replied:

Hi, Andrew —

I totally agree with my colleague Eric.

That said, if Mass and Reconciliation schedules are not posted outside of the parish, which
I doubt, I would stand behind you 100% and encourage all Catholic parishes to do this. Currently, this decision is left to the local bishop. If the Vatican wishes to mandate something, I'm sure it will.

Though I appreciate your desire to make a good, Holy Communion, if there is a Saturday that you can't get to Confession, and you think you have committed a mortal sin, there is still no reason for not going to Sunday Mass. When we go to Mass we enter into the Sacrifice of Calvary, that one time Sacrifice that is perpetuated throughout history.

Besides the Catholic obligation to renew our covenant with the Lord each Sunday, there's another obvious reason:

His Real Presence at all Catholic parishes!

Bring your problems to Him and ask Him to place solutions on your mind. I go to my Adoration Chapel twice a week. I empathize a little bit with the issues you have having with your local priests.

There has been no perfect person on earth since 72 A.D. (I believe that's around when our Blessed Mother was assumed into Heaven.) Nevertheless remember, before Jesus ascended into Heaven, it was His choice to delegate His Apostolic Authority to fallible men. Being a priest, and even more, a bishop, can be a very difficult vocation in today's culture.

Despite their weaknesses and shortcomings — the same ones you have — you should try to work with them when possible and not cut off your nose to spite your face.

That's what the very first Christians would recommend.

I hope this helps,

Mike

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