Making my return to the Church in the Sacrament of Reconciliation


Hello everyone,

I am finally going to receive the sacrament of reconciliation hopefully this week. I am a revert.

I have a question concerning the sacrament, however. It has been about 20 years since my last confession, and I have so many mortal sins that I REMEMBER and that I will be writing down on a paper. Will the priest be upset about the time it will take?

I mean I plan on categorizing certain ones and giving the motive and situation and persons involved, which will eliminate going through each and every single same sin. Or should I repeat a confession for the same mortal sins which are vaguely remembered to the best of my ability?

Also, should I do this at a normal parish’s confession time, or should I make an appointment?

Erick Ybarra


Welcome Back! Praise the Lord

You don’t need to go into specifics, or mention motives, situations, or persons involved. Very simply just number and kind. It could be an estimated thing such as “I did X sin about 3 times a week for 20 years” or “I missed Sunday and Holyday obligations for 15 years.” If the priest needs to better understand something he will ask for clarification. Or you could say I did this sin "about 10-15 times. Make a good and honest estimate and let the priest and the mercy of God do the rest. If you forget something, (which you most likely will) look at it as an opportunity to receive grace and mercy the next time you go.

If you do honestly forget something you can still receive the Eucharist, but you will need to confess it as soon as possible.

You might want to make an appointment so that you and the priest can take your time. But really it shouldn’t be longer than 20 mins. at the most.


I would recommend making an appt. so that other people in the confession line aren’t held up.


Do I get restored to a state of grace if I forget?


Yes, that is why you are permitted to receive the Eucharist. But again you would still need to confess sins that you forgot as soon as possible. You don’t have to make a specific appointment for it, but just the next regularly scheduled time for confessions in your parish.

Look at it like this: You clean your windshield on your car and you thought you had it all clean. But as you are driving you see some spots you missed. The next time you stop for gas, you clean up all the spots that you missed the first time.


What do you do when a priest says “Ok I really don’t want to hear anymore. just BOTTOM LINE it for me!”


You gratefully accept his absolution and go forth in the sure knowledge that you have been forgiven, restored and reconciled.


I doubt that a priest would say that to you. You are going to be so happy that you went. I wasn’t a revert in the classic sense, but I spent decades as a cafeteria Catholic with a very ignorant idea of my faith. When I finally realized how many mistakes I had made and passed on to my kids, I finally went to Reconciliation. I was nervous, but when driving home I felt euphoric. Since then I have learned so much and my faith is so much deeper. Try not to sweat it. The priest will help you.


This would be very disturbing. I recommend that you make an appointment. Nearly all parishes do this. If you want it to anonymous, just don’t give a name and confess behind the screen.


Wonderful! Welcome back home. If you are worried about the time factor, an appointment may be the best way to relieve your mind. Making a full confession does take a long time if you’ve been away for years. Giving all the circumstances involved is not necessary. Just state your sin and # of times or repeatedly for X years is sufficient. The Holy Spirit will guide you, bring notes or use an examination of conscience booklet to stay on target. Any sin recalled later, can be confessed at your next confession. Your sins are forgiven and you are restored to a state of grace as you receive absolution. The mercy of God is unfathomable to us . Absolutely anything we can do will be forgiven if we but ask.


[quote="God_Seeker, post:6, topic:342929"]
What do you do when a priest says "Ok I really don't want to hear anymore. just BOTTOM LINE it for me!"


A priest should not say that, but you should also not introduce too much unnecessary detail. Make an examination of conscience based on the Ten Commandments and go through any offenses. If the priest needs more detail, he will ask.


Praying for you, my fellow revert! I plan to return to the sacrament of Confession before Mass this coming Sunday. While I haven’t recalled any mortal sins, it’s been a little over a year and a half since I’ve been to Confession, and I’m afraid to return. Praying for the both of us!


If you forget to confess a mortal sin you are required to confess it at your next confession, but you are absolved of that sin even though you forgot.

Also, you don’t need to get all that detailed. For instance you could say perhaps that you committed many acts of impurity for twenty years including premarital sex, contraception, pornography… and that could be all the priest wants possibly but you may want to ask if he wants you to go into more detail. Since acts of impurity includes a wide range of sins then even if you forget to mention something specifically then it still covered I think.

Also you could perhaps say that you were uncharitable/mean to people many times instead of saying you had an argument with your mother, you flipped off someone on the highway, you cussed at cashiers/family members.

Ideally you should say sort of what you did, but if there is not much time saying “I was impure many times” technically suffices if the priest is okay with it. It is important to have the type of sin (even if vague) and the number of time committed (even if approximate or just saying “many” or “sometimes”).

I would recommend that you look at an examination of conscience which can easily be found on the internet. Then just kind of put your sins into groups and see how you can kind of sum things up so it doesn’t run too long. Also, it would be ideal to schedule an appointment for confession if you think it will go a long time. Priests are usually very understanding and know that you wish to live in accord with the will of God since you are going to confession so you shouldn’t be worried about them judging you if that is something that you are worrying about.


I returned last month after over 20 years away. I made an appointment with the priest for Confession. It took a little while but with the priest’s help, I got through it. Good luck! It’ll be worth it.


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