I changed confessors almost two months ago because my previous confessor is too far away for me to go more often than a few times per year. I had planned for the process of changing to take almost four months—not only was I changing the priest I regularly confess to but also the language I confess in. Instead it took just over half that time.
In early June, I made an appointment with the priest God chose as my new confessor. (Believe me, if the choice had been mine I would have picked someone else.) I don’t have anxiety issues in a clinical sense but I was petrified—of the priest, of the idea of having to spill my guts to a new confessor, of needing to do all of this in French. When we sat down in his office, the first thing I said is that everything I was about to tell him has already been confessed and absolved. Then I threw my entire life of misdeeds onto the table between us. We also talked about my spiritual life, how I pray (what, how much, how often), my current life, my marriage, my relationship with the Church since birth. At the end of this 45-minute session he knew everything about me, things even my parents don’t know. So it was just a matter of making the change.
I won’t go into the details of why it went down the way it did, but a transition planned for the end of September took place unexpectedly in mid-August. This might have gone completely pear-shaped except for that conversation in early June. Since my new confessor was familiar with my strengths and weaknesses both past and present, he was able to calm my fears about confessing in a language I don’t speak all that well. It wasn’t a smooth start but it got better fairly quickly. Though there are still some things I’m not thrilled about, I can no longer imagine regularly confessing to anyone but this particular priest.
The only thing I can think of that I should have done differently is pray more about the process. George Stegmeir’s suggestion of asking the Blessed Virgin for assistance is a wonderful one. I wish someone had encouraged me to do that before that first appointment in early June.
Should you go this route, don’t hold anything back. If you’re going to have a regular confessor, it’s important for him to know who you really are so he can guide you in the most effective manner. But then you probably already know that.
Go with God. I’m praying for you, as I know this isn’t an easy change to make. :signofcross: