Sunday, April 01, 2007

Confession on the rise?

Well, it's nice to be back home. And even nicer to have a front-page story show up on your doorstep with a positive view of confession and reporting that anecdotal evidence points to a rise in its use. The Union Leader article Confessing a need tells us, "This Lent, several parishes found more Catholics going to confession than in previous years." The news, it tells us, points towards continuing to get better:

The pastor of St. Anne-St. Augustin parish in Manchester's inner city was surprised when 60 to 70 people -- mostly youth -- showed up for a English-speaking communal reconciliation service Tuesday.

"It was the first time I really saw the young people interested and into it," said the Rev. Joseph Gurdak.

"There is a comeback, a slight comeback, especially among the Hispanics," he said.

The young are likely to be the salvation of the older. In God's usual "just when you thought you understood it" fashion, grandkids may be the ones taking their grandparents by the hand and leading them into a church. Fr. Marc Montminy continues:

Meanwhile, Ste. Marie's pastor said confession has been more popular at his parish largely because of the emphasis he places on it. "It's good for the soul," Montminy said.

"A lot of people are carrying a lot of baggage, a lot of hurt and a lot of pain. They need to seek reconciliation," he continued. "We believe there is no other place where you can go and be told you are forgiven of your sins."

Or, put another way, "if you offer it, they will come". Maybe, just maybe, people are starting to realize their free-wheeling ways didn't make them happier and didn't really solve any of their problems. "Our heart is restless, O Lord until it rest in thee."

Fr. Montminy is the twin brother of the new pastor of my parish. Fr. Marc & Fr. Paul Montminy will be two of the seventeen priests hearing confessions at Ste. Marie's parish tonight. God willing I'll be able to make it.