Can Priests Make "House Calls" For Confession?

I’m fairly new to the Catholic Church (received in Easter 2005). I was just thinking about this. My health is getting to a point where I am more and more unable to attend Mass, let alone go to confession. I have never been on oxygen, but now am on it full time. I am a carrier of the Merca virus which is very communicable and can be very serious. Since most people at my parish hold hands during the Our Father and shake hands twice during Mass, I’m very apprehensive to go for fear of spreading it to them, as well as getting sick myself since I have such a compromised immune system, even though I carry a small container of hand sanitizer. I also have a chronic cough. :frowning:

Having said all that, I know that priests can give absolution to those in hospital settings (I experienced that firsthand), but can priests take confessions in a persons home outside of the confessional? :shrug:

I am sure that a priest can visit you at home to hear your confession. Priests visit people in hospital to hear their confession. The use of the confessional is not compulsory. In fact, I think it’s the penitent’s choice (in theory) - you may want anonymity or face-to-face confession. I would imagine the primary consideration would be that the privacy required is maintained, i.e. no one in your home could overhear your confession. It would probably be advisable for you to discuss this with your parish priest or chosen confessor.

On a separate note, you say you have the Merca virus. This is usually used to mean methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is actually a bacterium not a virus. Your family doctor should be able to advise you on how you can minimise the risk of infecting others.

Absolutely. You should call your parish office and ask to be put on the list to receive Holy Communion at home and let them know to send the priest so you can go to confession. It’s done all the time. Unless you ask for confession, they will usually send an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, which would be fine most of the time, I’m sure. So when you need confession, just call and they’ll send the priest.

God bless you!


The priest can absolutely go to your home for confession given your condition.

As a note to everyone else, if you are able to go to church for confession, you cannot receive confession outside of a church

Can. 964 §1. The proper place to hear sacramental confessions is a church or oratory.

§2. The conference of bishops is to establish norms regarding the confessional; it is to take care, however, that there are always confessionals with a fixed grate between the penitent and the confessor in an open place so that the faithful who wish to can use them freely.

§3. Confessions are not to be heard outside a confessional without a just cause.

Of course health reasons is a just cause.

Canon 964 §3 of the Code of Canon Law says, “Confessions are not to be heard outside a confessional without a just cause.” The situation you describe (sorry to hear about it, btw; my prayers for your health) sound like a totally just cause for hearing your confession at home. I’m sure your priest will agree.

You’ll be in my prayers Genesius.

Thank you. So far, you are the only one who has told me that. That means everyone else in here doesn’t care…LOL :smiley: :rolleyes:

But seriously, to everyone else, I know you are all praying for me and I appreciate it. I do know enough to know that I can receive Holy Communion. I have been receiving from a wonderful 94 year old lady who is a EMOHC at our parish. I’m 49 years old and I call her ‘mom’. Makes her feel young. :wink:

As a side note, I believe it was during my second chemo treatment (AML survivor) back in 2002, my convert friend had sicced a Jesuit on me. I was about 90% Catholic at heart at that time, but was not yet able to fully accept Transubstantiation so I told the priest I didn’t feel right receiving Communion. However, he did offer me absolution. I knelt down beside my bed and in tears prayed to God the only Protestant way I knew at the time, asking God to forgive my sins of omission. When I looked up through the tears I saw the Jesuit do the sign of the cross and declare my past and present sins forgiven. :highprayer: I felt so cleansed! That was a turning point for me in my journey home.

A Priest may hear a confession at any place that he may be.

In an extreme emergency, even a Priest that has been laicised may hear a dying persons confession and absolve them of their sins.

In our parish a priest visits everyone on the list for communion at home once every four months. They will also visit anyone who requests a visit at any time. If it is not an emergency, we ask that give them a window of a few days; so they can fit it in with other calls.

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