Reconciliation - Large Number of Participants!

Hi all. Our parish in central New Jersey had a Mass followed by individual confession last night. I am happy to report that there was a big turnout. I would say about 700 of us participated. I have been attending these communal penance services followed by individual confession each Advent and Lent for the past few years, and this is the largest turnout we’ve had to date.

Although, our parish is not in the city of Trenton, I took this large turnout as a very hopeful sign coming at a time when Trenton has closed (or will be closing) all of its Catholic schools due to declining enrollment, and has had to close two parishes and merge several others.

On another topic, has anyone “adopted” a city parish? I am thinking of attending a parish in Trenton on occasion and providing my weekly offering to that parish when I attend. The churches in the city are so beautiful compared to our modern versions built over the past 10 years in the suburbs.

Congratulations! God is moving, we just have to recognize that always. Our diocese long has a sharing parish tradition. The parish has regular monthly collections, but more than that. We participate in inter-parish activities. For example, our choirs may switch, or we have a inter-parish party or gathering. Our kids will on occasion have open gym nights. We do many things for and with each other. It is a blessing.

That’s awesome! The line for confession is always short at my parish. By the way, how does the communal penance service work? When you go into the confessional, the priest just won’t give you penance (the service was your penance)?

No, the priest hears individual confessions after the service. In the past, the community service consisted of a readings from Scripture, prayer and songs followed by the individual opportunity to receive the Sacrament. Last night was a Mass followed by the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

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