A few years ago I was in high school and scratched a car as I was pulling out. It left some paint and probably did some minor damage. I left without leaving a note and just forgot about it. Years later I recalled this and confessed it. I feel as though I need to right the wrong but I have no idea who’s car it was or what it looked like. There is one person I know who I thought I saw had a scratch in the same spot on their car. Should I try to call and see if it is was the same car? The person is out of town right now and I would not be able to contact them directly so I would probably have to call their parents. I also know someone who saw this happen. If they are able to tell me the make or color of the car, should I ask anyone who went to my school with that same make or color if it was their car? If I knew who it was, I would have no problem telling them and paying for any damages. The problem lies in that I don’t know how far I need to go in order to find out who it is. The most extreme being calling everyone who was able to drive at my school at the time and seeing if it was their car. That would be hundreds of people. This seems a little excessive however and I would like to know what is considered the right thing to do and what is going too far. Should I just wait it out and try to talk to these people when I get the chance, or should I try to do everything in my power right now by calling them to finding out what I can? I would be kind of embarrassed to call someone up out of the blue askinog them about this unless I knew for sure it was their car or they knew who it was.
Since this happend a couple years ago, it is not likely that you will be able to find the person. Instead, pray for the person and maybe do some good and offer that good to the Lord for him or her. For example, you could do some volunteer work for the poor.
Fr, Vincent Serpa, O.P.