My priest never seems to give me penance


The priest on the college campus didn’t give me a penance both times I went to him for confession. Should I tell the bishop? What should I do? And how should I do penance without guidance?


This might be helpful. Also you can do penance above and beyond. Also request extra penance at your next confession.

I’m not sure if it’s necessary to bring it up to the bishop, like at all.


Ask the Priest before you leave the Confessional, “Father what is my penance?”


I can see two possibilities:

1: Don’t go to this priest next time

2: if you must go to this priest next time, just before he gives absolution it possible, ask him: Fr. what is my penance

If something lik this happens again, just do the penance you arhave normally assigned (the last one you were assigned before these last two confessions).


Your priest doesn’t have to give you penance. He might not feel it is needed in your case. He might be doing the penance himself. There could be any reason why he didn’t do so. You can always do some penance yourself or ask him about it next time. I certainly wouldn’t talk to the Bishop about it.

My first few confessions, including my first, I wasn’t given any penance, either. I asked my friends and they said it isn’t always given. So no harm, no foul. Concentrate more on your repentance for those sins and your plan on avoiding them in the future, as well as gratitude for His forgiveness. Perhaps you can say some prayers or the Rosary since no penance was assigned.


You could just ask him why next time you go to confession.


Your priest doesn’t have to give you penance. He might not feel it is
needed in your case. He might be doing the penance himself.

Indeed! Priests do penance for the confessions they hear. If they do not assign a penance, that is a reflection of their Christ-like spirits - to take it all on themselves. However, a penance is comforting to the human spirit - therefore I would simply ask for one.

It’s just me, but the Lord said that when a man asks you to go one mile with him, that we should go two miles.

So, in that spirit, I double my penance.


During one of my confessions, the priest said that “your sins are A, B and C and they are best dealt with meditating on X, Y and Z Bible stories. Spend some 45 minutes to an hour with each and your penance is to pray the M prayer.” I was relieved that is wasn’t the standard “pray one decade of the rosary” or “one Our Father”. :rofl:


Why not just assume that the Priest knows his business?


The first time my mother gave her Confession, the priest who Confirmed her gave her a chapter in the Bible to read.


There are already good responses concerning the OP (that a priest might not give, and then you can politely remind him). In some places the normally do give while in some others they normally do NOT give (like I noticed in some of the major basilicas in Rome).
I am posting because i want to say i enjoyed the last part of yours concerning standard penance. :smile:

Although some priests do give the standard penance so as to be sure that the people can really do it… Prayers they are familiar with. Imagine asking my grandma to recite sub tuum as penance :slight_smile:


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