Can a priest give a perpetual penance?

Two years ago I was given a penance to “take some time everyday and do XYZ”. The priest did not specify how much time per day or how many days/weeks/months/years I was to do this. Two years later, am I still obligated? I worry that I’m neglecting my penance and sinning if I don’t do XYZ on any given day, and it has become a burden on my mind. We have since moved across the country, and I have not asked a different priest to release me from the penance. Thank you.

A “perpetual penance” seems to be counterproductive to the concept of satisfaction. A perpetual task can never be completed. Thus how can one make satisfaction for one’s sins if the penance can never be completed?

I would recommend simply speaking to another priest in the confessional and explaining your situation. He will either commute your penance as already finished or assign something that you can complete.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.