Good evening. Today I went to my first confession after being welcomed into the Church last Easter. I was not sure what to do and ask the priest when I went into the room. He instructed me to say the "bless me...." and then asked what sins I needed to confess. I began speaking and the priest took over the conversation. When he had finished with his words, I had lost my train of thought on what I wanted to confess and the next thing I knew he was offering me forgivness. I received only the penence of reading some material he had that had some Bible verses on it. It was something he was giving to everyone who went in to the room. I walked out of the room feeling even more confused than I did when I had gone in. I didn't feel forgivin, in fact, I feel worse now. What should I do at this point. He is the only priest at our Parish and to find another priest I would have to travel quite a distance. Any suggestions on what to do now? Thank you and God Bless.


Congratulations on your entrance into the Catholic Church and to your endeavor to participate in the Sacraments. How unfortunate that your first visit to the Sacrament of Penance was a bit unfullfilling! It seems to me that you made a sincere effort to make use of the Sacrament and your heart was in the right place to make your confession. Therefore, what you said transpired in the confessional was not in tune to what you expected and you are left to take what good you can draw from it as little as you may believe there was to take. Sometimes, moments like that can be disheartening, but take consolation that you have made the sincere effort and with the prayer to the Holy Spirit your good intentions were heard by our Father who knows every being's heart. Father perhaps was set on passing on the literature he did with good intention for that evening to those he encountered and it would not hurt to see what you can draw from it as best serves the circumstances that availed you that eveining.


Agreed. The OP has done her best and shouldn’t feel at all discouraged. If the confessor takes over the conversation then it is very hard to bring it on track, as one feels that one is being disrespectful or disobedient, especially if you are new to this.

I know of several priests who seem to give the same penance to everyone that comes through on a particular Saturday. I say “seem to”, because I’ve noticed the pattern in my own confessions, however I don’t know for sure what penances they actually give to other people.

I have one confessor who takes over the conversation, as if to re-assure me that everything’s OK. I wish he wouldn’t do this, and I do actually make a point of continuing with my own confession - but this if very hard to do the first time it happens. It can also mean that the confession lasts about 20 minutes. As an slightly amusing aside, he is one of the only priests who has said anything hurtful to me in confession! He didn’t mean to, but he just talked so much, trying to re-assure me, that it just slipped out!

Of course, the confession is valid and your sins are forgiven. You do not need to do anything else. You confessed and held nothing back. The priest passed absolution. It ends there. “Those who’s sins you forgive they are forgiven”.


Laura, don’t feel confused or worried. You were absolved. That means everything you went into the Confessional with is washed away. If you didn’t get the chance to mention something because the priest cut you short or distracted you, it’s still forgiven. You didn’t deliberately omit anything and you went in with your soul on display and open to God.

I note that you’re new in the Church… One thing that takes time to learn about Confession is that not only do you need to receive absolution from the priest, but that you need to assent to that absolution within yourself. It’s about letting go of the sins and accepting that you have been forgiven, through the priest, by God.

Trust in the infinite mercy of God. Allow that grace in and don’t hang on to the weight of your previous, now absolved, sins because to do so places am unnecessary barrier between you and God.

Be at peace.


If you can find a good "examination of conscience," then that might help. Going through that, make yourself a few notes on what you want to bring up in your next confession. Your priest might try to take over the conversation again, or you might have another confessor. Either way, you will feel a bit more prepared for it. Also, try to go more than once a year. I try to go once a month, just to "keep up" with stuff. If nothing else, my lousy attitude is enough to take me there that often. :blush:


This may be related from Jimmy Akin of Catholic Answers

Also -- if one had any mortal sins that were not confessed -- certainly these would need to be confessed in the next confession.


A note of clarification --if mortal sins were involved more would need be done.


This may have relation to what Jimmy Akin of Catholic Answers noted here but one may discuss it with the Priest of course

Also -- if one had any mortal sins that were not confessed -- certainly these would need to be confessed in the next confession.


Thank you all for your kind words. I don’t believe I’ve committed any mortal sins so I guess I should forgive myself and go from there. Our priest is a nice man, just very chatty on his own issues. LOL


Did you make a thorough examination of conscience before going to confession? The reason I ask is that it’s quite a feat to make it an entire year without committing a single mortal sin.


Venial sins do not need to be confessed -though it is recommended


1458 Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church.59 Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father's mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful

If I go to confession and intend to say confess 7 venial sins and only end up directly only confessing 3 of them (and of being contrite etc)--that is fine. The rest can be even forgiven indirectly in the Sacrament.

Venial sins can also be forgiven in many other ways (prayer, reading Sacred Scripture, in receiving Holy Communion, devout use of holy water, acts of contrition etc)

It is only mortal sins that one must confess --and only they need to be confessed in number and in kind (and that which changes the kind --like it was your brother you murdered).


[quote="Laura_Turner, post:9, topic:317027"]
Thank you all for your kind words. I don't believe I've committed any mortal sins so I guess I should forgive myself and go from there. Our priest is a nice man, just very chatty on his own issues. LOL


You're welcome. Thankyou for responding. It does help to get some feedback on our answers. :)

Best wishes for your continued journey in the Catholic Church. I hope you will find that the sacrament of reconciliation is a great source of spiritual growth, and that most confessors are helpful, in their different ways.


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