Diaconate discernment and confession


In talking with some people and on these forums I have seen that one of the things they tell men who are in formation (and I assume in aspirants) is that they should go to confession frequently. I have no issue with this, but what is considered frequent? Are we talking daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or something else? I know everyones answer will be slightly different but I am just trying to guage how often I should be looking to do this. I have not been very good with getting to confession and I know that needs to be fixed.


YBIC - John


I go every few weeks and am sustained by frequent daily mass and prayer. I always read the readings for daily mass if I can’t attend and stop during the day to say prayers for loved ones and those who are suffering. Confession is a wonderful thing and I try to go when my kids can see me going. I try to make it every few weeks.


I suggest you start by doing a good examination of conscious every night before you go to sleep. There are lots of resources to assist this process, but I find a run through the 10 commandments to be a pretty good way to go about it. Then. . . . go as often as you need to. That will vary from person to person and even vary in length for the person.

I personally find that I need to go about every 3 to 6 weeks. I don’t know if people consider that “frequent” or not. I have a deacon brother who goes every week. I have another who only goes about twice a year.

Once you start really examining your conscious in a sincere and regular way, you will find that you “need” to go more than you might have thought. I also found that the more I started to go, the more I realized I needed to go.


Sound advice from Deacon Jeff, sound as a pound. I find that doing that is really a way of keeping oneself humble. Frankly, I don’t do an examination of conscience as often as I should–I tend to react to things that hit me over the head more so than those subtle callings that come from a more reflective place. I should do more of what the Deacon suggests. :thumbsup:


I have been advised “monthly” is a good minimum frequency target; weekly would be admirable; daily would probably be too much.


.When I was growing up, pre-V II, weekly Confession was the norm for children and young people in the US. I was “out of the Church” for many, many years and when I returned, I find very few people in my parish are to be seen in line during the regularly scheduled Confession hours, yet the Communion lines are full.
What happened? Did we become a congregation of Saints after V II? And, if not, why are not the priest preaching about this?
I really would like an explanation, if possible.


A very valid question that begs to be answered in a multitude of parishes I should think. I, for one, can think of only one of our priests who preaches on this topic, and then only infrequently. People don’t like being told no; yet, that is one of the most needed things in today’s Catholicism in the USA. This can be done in a very Franciscan manner, a very pastoral manner–but, it has to be done. I had a very dear friend stop and chat with me after attending mass for only the second time in years during this past Lenten season. Somehow the topic of confession and reconciliation came up. I kept talking with her and even though she had not been to sacramental confession in almost twenty five year, she went in and was reconciled. I waited and told her (she had forgotten) that we really can’t approach the alter to receive the Eucharist (Christ) unless we are first reconciled and she appeared to understand. She has returned at least two or three times to go to mass since then. I pray for her often.


I think 2-4 weeks is frequent. Up to two months is probably still more than most people go these days, but if it’s much more than a month, I personally wouldn’t call it “frequent.” However, I am sure that if every Catholic went even every two months, the confessionals would be more full than they are now. Although I guess that’s just my experience, which admittedly is not very much, since I haven’t been around too much.


Thanks all… I appreciate the answers.

And George, you bring up a very good question.


Just thought I would give and update on my discernment. I have continued to pray the Office as I have been for some time now, but I also started reflecting on this little book that was at our church that comes out each quarter (One Bread, One Body). It has the daily readings, psalms, and gospel in it along with something to meditate on and a prayer. I also picked up two books on the Ignatian way or discerning what God is calling me to do (not just with this but everything).

Anyhow, last night while spending time with God in prayer, I asked the Blessed Virgin Mother to intercede for me and have her help me see what God is asking me to do. This morning, in the reading for the Morning Prayer, it was from Peters first letter and he was basically telling us that we are to put our God given talents to use to serve one another. “The one who speaks is to deliver God’s message. The one who serves is to do it with the strength provided by God.” Later, in the responsory, it almost echoed my prayers over the past weeks…“From the depth’s of my heart I cry to you; Hear me, O Lord” and then it says “I will do what you desire; hear me , I Lord.”

I know people will say that is just chance or luck that I saw this today… I tend to believe it was the Holy Spirit answering my prayers. I think some call it the Holy Spirit working through the word (or something along those lines… if you know the exact term, please let me know).

This evening, my wife and I will be meeting with the Diaconate office in our diocese. It is my understanding that this meeting is to see if I have any impediments to going any further in the process. I have to admit, I am nervous, but I don’t know why I should be. Possibly the church will think that I am not a good fit, and that may end the process for me. If that is the case, I need to understand that is God’s will, but I know that will be hard.

Anyhow, I ask for your prayers for the Holy Spirit to be with me tonight and to allow me to be relaxed and at ease.

Take care, YBIC… John

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