Trying to encourage parents to go to reconciliation?

Hi everyone,

Well, I’m a teenager making her confirmation next year, and I make a good attempt to attend reconciliation every month. I surely fufill the once a year requirement. Wheras, my parents have not recieved the sacrament since their first time. They go to Mass and recieve the Eucharist without confessing. I’ve tried to convince them to go, but they say they don’t need to. I know I’m supposed to honor their wishes, but they sort of look down on me if I go. I’m worried for their souls.

What should I do?


Jeanne, You can only alert them to the need, and to the laws of the Church. The rest is up to them. The only other thing you can do is to pray for them.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

1496 The spiritual effects of the sacrament of Penance are:

  • reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace;
  • reconciliation with the Church;
  • remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins;
  • remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin;
  • peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation;
  • an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle.

1415): “Anyone who desires to receive Christ in the Eucharistic Communion must be in a state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive Communion without having received absolution in the Sacrament of Penance.”

pray for them

Also, keep going to reconcilliation regularly yourself… sometimes the best encouragement is a good example.

I’ve got the exact same problem. I tried to encourage my parents to go, I’m 22, and go almost on a weekly basis.
I think they somehow dont think it ‘matters as much as it used to’, but I have sat with them and discussed how it is a necessity and so forth, but they still go to mass with my Gran and knowingly participate in the Eucharist after what Ive told them.

Its hard, I know, for example, they have major sins to confess, for instance I am aware my father had a vasectomy when I was around 8, and as far as I know he’s never confessed this, because he doesn’t ever go to confession!

Its tough. I also struggle with my younger brother who refused confirmation at school age and is now 20. I attend RCIA as my Priest thinks it will aid me in my discernment to the Priesthood, and I tried to get my brother to come as he keeps saying he will ‘probably get confirmed one day’, I wish he’d either stop giving me an answer he thinks will satisfy me, or just say how he really feels because I think deep down he just doesn’t care.

Anyway all I can do is pray for them all to turn their hearts back to God and the Church. Nothing is impossible to God.


And a (not so) little child shall lead them . . .

Your parents may seem to be “looking down” on you, but I’ll bet your good example makes them think – maybe makes them feel a little ashamed – and will some day bear fruit.

Keep it up and know you are making some very good decisions in availing yourself to the sacraments on a regular basis. I’m proud of you!!!

First, congratulations on your upcoming Confirmation, and how wonderful that you take our Holy Faith so seriously - that is such a wonderful thing! God is made very happy when we do these things. :slight_smile: :thumbsup:

Second, you cannot command or teach your parents anything - this is not your role. You are their child. We are only allowed to teach and command: our child, our student, or our employee. And even then, our power to command them is limited (for example, a Math teacher can’t tell his students to go to Mass - only the religion teacher or the Catholic school principal, or the parents, can do that).

So, what you have to do is, pray for them. (Which I am sure you do.) And set them a good example, without saying anything to them. (Your grandma is the parent of one of them, though, and she can tell her own child (which is one of your parents) to go to Mass and go to Confession - if she thinks they are likely to listen to her.)

I’m in the same boat as you, lol.

I’ve been trying to get my dad into confession for a while. I just keep going myself, and I make sure to tell him how awesome it is. :smiley:

And I try to drop little hints, like “such-and-such a priest is a great confessor”, and “it’s so much easier to go behind the screen”, and so forth.

I have hope that it’s working. He used to wait out in the car when I went to confession…now he’s waiting inside the church. That’s a little bit closer, lol. :thumbsup:

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