Regarding Reconciliation


Hi everyone,

I have a question regarding the sacrament of reconciliation. I first want to say that I have been away from the Church for a very long time, but have been attending Mass off and on for the last few years.

Within the last couple of months I have had an overwhelming desire to go to confession, but I’m not sure if I need to do anything special. For instance, I read on a Catholic website (I don’t remember the URL) that if it’s been a really long time since your last confession, that you should make an appointment with the priest, as to not take up all the time for people who do not have a lot to confess. Is this standard procedure? I mean, I don’t really want to call the rectory to make an appointment; I don’t want the priest to identify me from everyone else as the awful sinner. Any help is greatly appreciated.


Because of this statement, I’d say just go during regular confession time. It is very hard getting an appointment with a priest.


I think you can make an appointment for a behind-the-screen confession either in church or in the rectory, if that helps. Or perhaps schedule a confession 15 minutes ahead of regular confession time, if you know there won’t be too many in church then.


Depends on where one is…




Or one can go to a Monastery…

Examine your conscience (all mortal sins in number and kind)

(and do receive Holy Communion yet)

PS (I assume your not married outside the Church…one would bring that up with Priest so that can be rectified)

It is very good your coming back to confession -it is very wonderful.

Jesus of Nazareth loves you and desires to give us true life.


Just go to confession. If the priest wants to discuss things and take time to do so then, don’t worry about the line. He can always invite you to make an appointment if he thinks it would help, or he will more than likely invite to to return again soon.

Never ignore a desire to go to confession.


Yes, going to church when at the beginning of “confession time” might help you beat the rush…I know it can be frustrating, sometimes you may be the only penitent, and someitmes you may be one of 20!


I know a lady that asked for confession in a hospital. She told the priest she did not know where to start. It had been 50 years. He told her that listing all the sins was not important. Repentance was, and he told her to go to Mass and take communion as the penance.


I agree 2,000%.
By the bye, I do not understand these people who say it is difficult to get an appointment to meet with a priest. They must live in the back woods somewhere there are very few Catholics and even less Catholic Churches.
I grew up in Miami, Florida when it was still a moderate sized town and still considered mission territory. The Diocese and Bishop was located in St. Augestine, and was founded by the Spanish in the 1500’s. At that time, there were only 5 Catholic Parishes in the Miami area - and one of those held Mass in a movie theater because they had not yet built their Church. Anyway, priests were always available for people who needed spiritual counseling.
Since that time, I have lived in Tallahassee., Fla., New London and Groton, Ct., Los Angeles. CA., San Francisco, CA., San Diego, Ca., Buffalo, NY, Richmond, Va., and finally, New York City. (I was professional Navy and moved around a lot! )
In all of these places priests were available not only for scheduled Confessions on a regular basis, but also for private consultation. All one had to do is to go to the Rectory and ask the Parish Secretary. Usually, she would call the priest down and you could meet with him then.
The point of all of this, is to tell you not to make excuses that a priest is not available for private, individual consultation/Confession. There is always a priest available somewhere.
In my particular case, I too had been away from the Church for a number of years. I was reconciled with the Church through a VA Hospital Chaplin. When he heard my confession, I was on a guerny just after being sent from the Emergency Room to a room in the Intensive Care Ward. As the Priest started to give me a General Absolution, I told him I was more comfortable with having him hear my confession. As he started to question me vis a vie the Ten Commandments, I stopped him and told him the only thing I hadn’t done was kill someone, and that I was guilty of violating all the rest and the Precepts of the Church too many times to count. Then, after I recited the Act of Contrition he absolved me. From that point I returned to the Church and have acted the best I can, going to Confession and Communion on a weekly basis. I returned over 10 years ago.TBTG.
If you are having trouble with examining your conscience, I suggest you log in “Examination of Conscience” on any search engine. You will find many sites that can and will help you. You might want to write down your sins and the number of times you think you did them and take the note into the Confessionalor the meeting with the priest, with you. It will help!
G*d Bless!!!


Yes repentance is very important. Right. And yes if we do not remember all mortal sins --that is even though we have examined and tried to remember them – we forget some but intend to confess them all (we just forget or have to approximate according to what we know if we do not know the number per se) and repent etc… The forgotten ones are forgiven along with the rest. If we later remember though a mortal sin that we forgot we simply are to confess it in the next confession.


Jesus of Nazareth is the Lamb who takes away our sins-- the Good Shepherd who gives laid down his life for us --who gives us true life!

“Jesus is called the Lamb: He is the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. Someone might think: but how can a lamb, which is so weak, a weak little lamb, how can it take away so many sins, so much wickedness? With Love. With his meekness. Jesus never ceased being a lamb: meek, good, full of love, close to the little ones, close to the poor. He was there, among the people, healing everyone, teaching, praying. Jesus, so weak, like a lamb. However, he had the strength to take all our sins upon himself, all of them. “But, Father, you don’t know my life: I have a sin that…, I can’t even carry it with a truck…”. Many times, when we examine our conscience, we find some there that are truly bad! But he carries them. He came for this: to forgive, to make peace in the world, but first in the heart. Perhaps each one of us feels troubled in his heart, perhaps he experiences darkness in his heart, perhaps he feels a little sad over a fault… He has come to take away all of this, He gives us peace, he forgives everything. “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away sin”: he takes away sin, it’s root and all! This is salvation Jesus brings about by his love and his meekness. And in listening to what John the Baptist says, who bears witness to Jesus as the Saviour, our confidence in Jesus should grow. Many times we trust a doctor: it is good, because the doctor is there to cure us; we trust in a person: brothers and sisters can help us. It is good to have this human trust among ourselves. But we forget about trust in the Lord: this is the key to success in life. Trust in the Lord, let us trust in the Lord! “Lord, look at my life: I’m in the dark, I have this struggle, I have this sin…”; everything we have: “Look at this: I trust in you!”. And this is a risk we must take: to trust in Him, and He never disappoints.”

~Pope Francis

"Jesus is the “Good Shepherd” who goes in search of lost sheep, who knows his sheep and lays down his life for them (cf. Mt 18:12-14; Lk 15:4-7; Jn 10:2-4, 11-18). He is the way, the right path that leads us to life (cf. Jn 14:6), the light that illuminates the dark valley and overcomes all our fears (cf. Jn 1:9; 8:12; 9:5; 12:46).

He is the generous host who welcomes us and rescues us from our enemies, preparing for us the table of his body and his blood (cf. Mt 26:26-29; Mk 14:22-25); Lk 22:19-20) and the definitive table of the messianic banquet in Heaven (cf. Lk 14:15ff; Rev 3:20; 19:9). He is the Royal Shepherd, king in docility and in forgiveness, enthroned on the glorious wood of the cross (cf. Jn 3:13-15; 12:32; 17:4-5)."

~Pope Benedict XVI


I’m not real good on the phone so I just emailed a priest for a time. We switched a few emails to settle on a time that worked for both and then I went. It was very hard to keep the appt for me but I’m glad I did. When I was done he simply said to make another appt for a few months and come back. (Like I’m going to sin again:shrug:)


That’s awesome that you have a longing to confess yourself to God! In my parish, there isn’t a set time for reconciliations and you have to make an appointment, but it’s never an issue- he can usually meet with you quite soon. I’m sure it will be the same with your priest, so go ahead and contact him to arrange an appointment. If he would rather you just come at the regular time he’ll tell you so!


I also agree 2,000%.

I feel the Sacrament of Reconciliation is terribly and tragically underrated. It is beautiful. I’m so glad you want to participate in it!

My parish has a dedicated Reconciliation hour on Saturday. I like to get there about fifteen or twenty minutes early so that I can pray before the Blessed Sacrament and do a final examen before I make my confession. And I’m usually the first or second one to go in, so that’s a little bonus.

On being concerned about taking up time from people who may have less to confess–don’t be. That’s what Reconciliation hours are for, after all.

God love you!


I think it’s great that you want to return to Confession! :thumbsup: :slight_smile:

What this website you mention is getting at is part of the Confession “culture” of your parish.

Some smaller Churches have at most 2 people who go to Confession on Saturday evening and the priest might spend most of the time working on his sermon or something in the Confessional.

Larger Cathedrals may have signs that politely suggest a person get to the point in Confession (ie confess all mortal sins in kind and number) and that because of long lines are asked to avoid using the Confessional at that time for spiritual direction and extra questions not necessary for the matter in Confession to be satisfied for a valid Confession.

The site’s advice is perhaps more prudent advice for those who suffer from scrupulosity in larger parishes or who know the priest and may wish to use the time to socialize for some of the time. :shrug:

But I want to assure you that a lot of people do seem to take their time in the Confessional even when they are asked to keep such things in mind (note: this is an observation, not a criticism), so I wouldn’t worry about it. No one outside the Confessional could possibly fault you for being in Confession for a period of time if you need it, but just keep a couple of things in mind:

  1. It is important for you to examine your conscience thoroughly and have an idea of what you want to confess.

  2. Follow the guidance of the priest in Confession. For instance, he may let you know if you keep on repeating yourself and that details on somethings may not be necessary. :thumbsup:


He was just trying to encourage you in keeping up with Confession. There are many benefits to confessing regularly. It’s fine. God bless you!
Be at peace!


Go in whatever circumstance you feel most comfortable :slight_smile:

I had been away for many years and I made an appointment. For me it made it easier because I am a stress cadet and never want to inconvenience others so I stress about holding people up :shrug:

I go regularly now and go to the confessional. There are various options (so to speak) in our parish during confession. They have the private rooms with screens or a chair. They have priests in different areas of the church pews for face to face. They even have kneelers with screens in the church so it is kind of semi private. And there are people taking varying amounts of time. No one seems perturbed by people taking time as there are more than one priest available. We all are there for the same reason and have never observed anyone getting upset about being there in line.

So…go and, as another poster said, don’t ignore a desire for confession. Many blessings!

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