I have a question that I am asking in this forum for a reason that will become clear as I relate the background info. So here goes…
My 17 yr old niece is staying with me. She has gotten into quite a bit of trouble back home and we are trying to help her see a better future. She was baptized Catholic because my brother was Catholic and his wife was not attending any church. My brother was not a practicing Catholic and died 6 years ago (as an aside, please pray for him and all who have died in that state). So, my niece has not attended church, much less Mass hardly at all. I attend a TLM here and when she did attend back home, it was at my mom’s church which is also a TLM (God love her she didn’t even know that there were Masses in English!). Anyway, I have not forced her to attend here yet, please don’t flame me, there is much work to be done, but I take every opportunity to talk about Christ and the Church that come up. The area that she seems to be the most curious about is confession. I have explained in detail the need for it, the power of it, the gift it is, and especially the sacredness of it. I have explained to her that the priest can not and will not disclose anything and explained the need to confess out loud and to a priest. So, here is my question, she doesn’t want to stay here any longer that she has to (goals set by her mother before she gets a plane ticket home) so if she decides that she would like to make a confession here (maybe the distance from the priest who hears her confession is a comfort to her) what would she be required to do? This would be her first confession. I am hoping if she can make a full and good confession, she may experience the healing power of it and want to maintain that in her life when she does leave. Suggestions? Again, I know I should be forcing her to attend but I am moving very cautiously and want her to come to the church because she desires it so please don’t yell at me for that or act like I don’t know that I am wrong on that issue, ok?:wink: Thanks so much


Don’t you have to have gone through so much training first?



Well most kids make their first confession shortly before receiving their first communion, so you don’t need a great deal of instruction to receive the sacrament.

I’m sure the priest could explain the procedure and significance of it to her privately - if she wants to remain anonymous it could even all be done in the confessional, though a prior explanation and request would need to be made - possibly an appointment scheduled if it’s likely to take a while.


The conventional post-Vatican II wisdom is that she should see a priest for a prvate conversation. I’m not so sure. I think there was something to be said for the tradition that the priest heard your sins from behind a screen and gave the penance, not tryng to offer advice or counselling.


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