Last week I spent the majority of my 8th grade Catechism/Confirmation Prep class reading and discussing and play-acting Luke’s “Parable of the Prodigal Son.”
This facilitated really good discussion afterwards, as Jesus surely intended. Mercy, forgiveness, parental love, etc and all the way to the confessional (as I hoped it would).
However, I had one girl bring up “but Fr. Simon knows me, I don’t want to tell him. What will he think of me?” That resonated with several in the class because Father serves as chaplain to the athletic/cheer teams and the youth ministry.
Of course I offered an old man’s view (paraphrasing): “don’t worry, he won’t violate the seal of the confessional” and “he’s heard it all” and “God already knows your sin, he just wants you back” etc.
I also said “Fr. Conyers has known me since college (over 37 years). He hasn’t once let on to my shortcomings outside of the confessional. And I don’t disguise my voice when I confess to him. He can offer good advice and guidance because he knows me.”
What other can I offer that are “at their level/in their words” but aren’t watered down or stodgy and yet remain true to the sacrament?