Taking a child to Reconciliation

Hello everyone,

I brought my eight-year-old daughter to adoration last weekend during the church’s Reconciliation hour. She wanted to know why everyone was standing in line at different parts of the church. When I told they were partaking of the sacrament of Reconciliation, she wanted to go herself, bless her heart. The problem is that her mother is Mormon and doesn’t want her being in the confessional alone. My question is whether or not I am allowed to go in with her? If so, do I need to make that fact known to the confessor?

Thanks for your comments,


Some more details would be helpful in advising you of your situation. Has she made her first reconciliation yet? Is she being prepped for her other sacraments by the church?

Generally, no, you are not allowed to be in hearing distance of someone making their confession. You could however, set up a confession time, where you daughter and the priest are sitting in full view, if she is comfortable with that. Or she could go to a box/fixed grate confessional, where the priest and penitent are separated by a fixed grate and are essentially in separate spaces.

Also as a side not Protecting God’s Children has guidelines about places where Confessions can and cannot be done in. Maybe making an appointment ahead of time for Mom to come in and meet the priest and discuss what she would be comfortable with as well would show good faith on everyone’s part. It is awesome that she is allowing her daughter to be raised Catholic (assuming this is the case - whether it was in the vows or not this can be rough) but she needs that piece of mind to for something that has been demonized in her own faith.

I wouldn’t take the child in with you. You would first need the permission of the childs parents. And I doubt you would get that. The mormons I know are very against anything that doesn’t fit to their slim view on faith.

The OP is the child’ father…

I know a lot of Catholic parents who don’t want youngsters in confessionals alone, either. Seems to me, depending on how it’s set up, if you wait to be last, (discuss with Father first) you should be able to leave door open and be far enough away to not hear while still having her in sight. This would work in my Parish. Conversely, we sometimes have reconciliation in the cry room, because we have old rooms not big enough for some powerchairs. This would work for you, though I suspect she wants to be in the special room.

It’s so very delightful to hear from an adult who respects his child’s feelings in a matter like this. God bless you.

As a matter of interest, our Pastor is now restoring the rooms to the fully screened and separated type.

Thank you all for your comments. Yes, my daughter has received her first Holy Communion and her first Reconciliation. Also, in response to whether my wife is allowing our children to be raised in the Catholic Church alone…sadly, no. The agreement is that they also attend her church every other week. It’s a long story as to how this came about. But, essentially, my wife was attending the Catholic Church with me about two years ago, we had our children baptized there and then she had a dream that the priest in our parish gave her a Book of Mormon to read. Well, she read it and subsequently stopped attending the Catholic Church and then shortly thereafter brought our children along with her. It has been a very rocky road since then for the two of us. I also have a 4 year-old son. I would just ask for your prayers for a resolution to this predicament, God Willing.

Thank you,


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