Wanting to correct a past wrong, but can't find the person


Probably about 4-5 years ago, I did something that I regret now, but at the time I was scared and didn’t know what to do.

The person to whom this was done, I no longer am in contact with, nor do I have any contact information for, and I don’t remember their name.

This has been bothering me over the last few months. I feel really badly about it, but don’t know how I can correct it. And yes it is something that could be corrected if I could find this person.

I’m ashamed of my past action, but don’t know what to do now.

So what can I do?


If I were you, I would ask my Pastor the next time I go to confession. It takes courage to make ammends for our past errors, so it seems like you are most of the way there. :thumbsup: In the meantime, ask the Holy Spirit for guidance.

God Bless you.


I had this same issue. Only mine was over 10 years ago.

The bad things I did were before I was baptised. Even after baptism when I knew my sins were forgiven I couldn’t overcome the urge to right the wrong.

The closer you get to God the more you may come to realize things that you have done in the past were not the best decisions. These sinful acts wear on our souls.

Confession is a great place to start. Confess the bad things you have done. Thank God for his forgivness and pray that the person that you wronged will know in their heart that you are sorry for what you have done.

You may or may not run into the person someday and have your opportunity to make amends.

Remember, although it might make you feel better, finding the person and reversing all of the wrong you have done is not necessary for your salvation


Confession is a great place to start.

If you can not contact the person to make reparations, maybe have a mass said for them with the intention that any harm that you did to them will be healed, and that their soul will be healed from any sin that you committed against them? Just an idea.


Although if it involves theft, some form of restitution must be made. If not to the person originally harmed, then to charity. If material restitution is not possible, then donating of ones time or labor in some manner.


Praying for the person you wronged is excellent advice. The idea of offering a Mass for them is wonderful too. When you speak to your priest, he will be able to give you more suggestions as to any restitution you should make, perhaps to a particular charity. We are also approaching the time of the Peter’s Pence collection. That would be a wonderful charity to contribute to.

The purpose of the Peter’s Pence Collection is to provide the Holy Father with the financial means to respond with emergency assistance to those who are suffering as a result of war, oppression, natural disaster, and disease. This collection was started centuries ago to provide financial support for the Pope and has evolved to fund the Holy See’s charitable actions for those in need.

The Peter’s Pence Collection has raised nearly $190 million to support our suffering brothers and sisters around the globe. THANK YOU for standing in solidarity with the Holy See with your generosity. Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in faith who are facing adversity.

The national collection date for the Peter’s Pence Collection is the weekend of June 27th and 28th, 2009. Your diocese may take up the Collection at a different time. Check with your diocese or call the USCCB Office of National Collections Promotions department at 202-541-3346.

If your diocese takes up the Collection at another time, please remember that resources are always available here.

Please give generously to the Peter’s Pence Collection in your parish. Or you may wish to send your donation to:

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Washington, DC 20008

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