There are only 2 parishes in our diocese that offer daily confession, one downtown, and one far away suburb. The downtown parish is a mission, and is actually a wonderful place that is very welcoming.
The suburban parish offers confession prior to the daily mass. As it happens, the people who attend the daily mass and the people who go for confession are often not the same folks. This, I think, is because the time is in the middle of the day, and it would be hard to do both on a lunch hour. I have done both when possible, but this is frequently not the case.
So, it seems that the folks that go to daily mass are not very happy to have the confession folks in the chapel before mass waiting for confession? I understand that some of those coming for confession are not members of the parish, as there are not many other opportunities in this large diocese to go.
So, being a convert, I have to ask - is it wrong to go to a parish that you are not registered in for confession? What about mass? Is it wrong to go to confession and not mass???
Today, confession was cancelled as there was a communion service due to Father being out. Just before the mass began, 30 minutes after confession was to start, and with people patiently waiting for Father to arrive, one of the altar servers turned around from her chair announced that the deacon asked her to say there would be no confessions that day. This is after she had been lighting candles and “chit chating” for the entire half hour we were waiting. She then shot a glance at those of us who were waiting, looked at her friends that were there for daily mass, and giggled. I have never felt more unwelcome before in my life.
I thought the sacraments were open to all… And if I am a member of a diocese, then that is really the real unit of organization, now? Parishes are areas where priests, on behalf of the bishop, minister to the people, right. But you aren’t really a “member” of a parish, only a “registrant.”
I just feel really upset, and I’m trying not to be discouraged and pray for this woman’s soul. Seems she should not look down on us. We are not subhuman becuase we are sorry for our sins! Shouldn’t those w/out the need to confess be rejoicing for us??? I took the opp to pray for our priests as well, as they are such a blessing.
Any words of encouragement? Thansk!