Reconciliation / Confession
One difficult human reality is that we sin. We harm ourselves, others, relationships and God our Father with our sinful and evil actions. However, our God is loving and will always pour out His mercy and forgiveness; we need only seek to reconcile ourselves with Him and with our community.
Our sins are forgiven by God. As Catholics we believe that Christ gave the power to his Apostles (and in turn, His priests) to reconcile sinners with God and the Church: “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mt 16:19) The priest, acting in persona Christi, listens to the sins of the contrite person, gives counsel and penance. The priest then absolves the sinner of their sins, and sends them on their way, to sin no more.
In order to receive absolution, the sinner must be truly sorry, confess all their sins to the priest, and perform the penance given to him.
Confession in a time of Crisis
We are now accepting requests for confession appointments! Please note that for now confessions are by appointment only so that lines do not form for people waiting as they might under normal conditions, and to maintain social distancing. Appointments also make it possible for a quick “in and out” scenario to help maintain the health and safety of all. Given this, we cannot take walk-ins, so please be respectful of those who made an appointment in advance. Also, everyone MUST wear a mask or face covering (a bandanna, for example).
Please remember that certain people will fall into a category of being unable to make their confession at this time. These include:
- Anyone who is in the at-risk category due to previous health conditions or being older in age (65+). If you are in an at-risk category, please seek medical advice from your physician to get his/her approval as to whether or not you are able to go into a public setting—even with social distancing—to interact with others, such as having your confession heard. If not, other opportunities will certainly be available in the future to have your confession heard.
- Anyone who has a cough, fever, or anything contagious.
- Anyone who is a potential carrier of COVID-19 coronavirus.
If you fall into any of those categories above, or if you are afraid to come to confession for fear of contracting COVID-19, you are still able to receive forgiveness of your sins by repenting, making an act of Love for God above all things, and making a resolve to go to confession once you are able to again.
To schedule an appointment for confession, please call the parish office at 614.875.3322. Leave a message stating that you would like to schedule an appointment for confession, and we will call you back as soon as possible with available dates and times. You will then be assigned to a 5-minute slot. This is not a time for pastoral counseling. This opportunity is just to confess your sins and then receive penance and absolution. If you are in need of pastoral counseling, you can call the office and a phone call with Father Jim can be arranged for that purpose. Our priests will not be seeing the list of who is coming to confession so that you may remain anonymous if you wish.
Please do not bring children with you unless they are also penitents. If they are to give their confession, they will need their own appointment and to follow the same procedures. Please tell our scheduler how many people you need appointments for and we will schedule you all together.
Once your appointment is scheduled, please adhere to the following procedure:
- Any and all preparation for confession (i.e. examination of conscience, prayer preparation, etc.) should be completed at home before you arrive at your appointment. An examination of conscience can be found here.
- If you have a fever, cough, or feel ill the day of your appointment, please call us and cancel. Take your temperature and do not come if it is over 100.4 degrees.
- Penitents should arrive no more than 5 minutes before their scheduled time in order to maintain social distancing and prevent crowds from forming.
- Everyone MUST wear a mask or face covering (a bandanna, for example). Each priest will also be wearing a mask.
- Confessions will be held in the school. Individuals should enter the North doors under the white canopy (the proper set of doors will be marked “Entrance”) and proceed to the Gym. From there they will be guided (using appropriate social distancing procedures) towards classrooms where confessions will be held. All doors will be propped open, so there will be no need to touch anything. The classroom doors with priests will be open and remain open during confessions. All others will remain closed and locked. You will not be able to pick which priest you will confess to.
- For your brief, 5-minute confession, you will be standing. Father will be sitting. There will be an “x” marked on the floor six feet or more away from Father. You will have the option for anonymous confessions.
- Upon finishing their confession, penitents will proceed back towards the gym and exit the door marked “Exit.”
- The church remains closed, so no one will be allowed into the church building. Individuals should perform their penance in their vehicle (if so applicable).
We know this feels strange to do confession this way. As we begin to reemerge as a society we are going to have to go through several phases of a new normal to begin with. Know that these precautions have all been thoughtfully put into place to help protect our community and avoid a second wave of the virus. Let us all pray for an end to this virus, for its victims, and for protection for all of those on the front lines in this crisis.