The Confessional

I recently had to move, and it broke my heart because I had gotten to know the priest and parshioners at my parish I was attending and sense having to move, I am finding it most difficult to go to confession, one because of the kind of confessionals there are and two I was so used to having a face to face confession with the priest. I dont like going behind a screen or curtain with the priest on the other side, I feel as If I am hiding from confessing but hiding from the priest I am confessing too. I am not sure that my new church offers face to face and I dont feel comfortable going behind a screen or curtained area. It seems the church has traditional confesionals. Anyone have an idea what I can do, I seem more attached to my previous church and priests, which has put me out of my safety zone. I hated leaving especially those who have inspired me.

Any help or recommendations would be helpful.

Often you can make an appointment with the priest rather than going at set times. I am sure that he could then accommodate your request. Good luck!


Devoted, I had just the opposite experience years ago and eventually got use to it, its just change, thats all.

Now, thankfully, my Parish offers either/or, you enter and there is a screen that you can either kneel in front of on a kneeler or go around it and sit in the chair and go face to face. Best of both worlds.

In any case, don’t let it keep you from this most awesome Sacrament. Why not just call your Parish and ask which way they do it?

You could probably find another Catholic Church close by that does it the way you would rather have.

I know its difficult moving and facing changes, I use to get very depressed whenever our Pastors moved around when I was younger, I would get use to one particular Priest and be very sad when he left, now I just take it in stride and get to know the “new” one. God bless you.

Tampasteve’s advice was great too!!

I think you can usually call to schedule a confession with a priest if you prefer to go face to face-just tell them that.

It might give you the opportunity to meet the priests, get to know them and possibly find a new spiritual director in your new parish.

Most parishes also have some kind of worship committee, parish life or formation groups that might be able to steer you in the right direction.

Hope you find what you need and get to know your new parish.

Sometimes we do have to step outside of our comfort zones, but it is never easy. At my parish, from the outside, the confessionals look to be “traditional” confessionals. One door in the middle for the priest and a door on either side for the penitent. You would never know from the outside that one side is face-to-face and the other has a screen. There is no way you would know other than to ask someone, call the parish, or visit both sides of the confessional.

Usually face-to-face is not all that hard to find.

Good luck!

When the Lord wills us to move from one parish to another, or one community to another, it is a sure sign that He means to teach us to attach ourselves to Him and to not get attached to those creatures whom we are used to or enjoy the company of, and this He dose ultimately for our greater good. (I know not His inscruptible reasons) The Lord has given you confessional confession to teach you that when you confess, you confess to God through the priest; just as an iron grid is between the minister and the penitent, so too is the priest between the penitent and a merciful God; but the priest is not in God’s way - rather, He is only a screen, a veil, and it is truly God who speaks to you through his lips, saying “I absolve you from your sins…” The priest is the representative of God, the servant of His Mercy.

The confessionals at my old parish looked like the “traditional” ones, but actually were set up for either face-to-face or the screen. I am guessing they removed the dividers to accommodate this new set-up.

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