So, I called (again) and asked for an appointment with the priest instead of a private confession... The secretary totally grilled me about WHY I wanted to meet with Fr. P. i said it was personal and that I've been considering returning to the church. She said there was a ministry for that, led by lay people. I said that sounded nice but that first I wanted some spiritual direction and had some questions. She acted like I had asked for an audience with the Pope himself! Like I was crazy. "What is your name again? And what exactly do you need?". Look, I know priests are busy men. We've gor a parish of 2500 families and only two regular priests. But they are making me feel like I am annoying them and asking for something really outrageous. I remember when I was young, it was not uncommon for a priest to stop by the house to chat and make a personal connection! Now it seems like he's this uberbusy CEO that is "protected" from his irritating shareholders by a phalanx of staff. Like the only time we are supposed to see the priest is at mass, or the once a month 30-minute confession period! How are nearly all the rest of the parishioners taking communion when confession has been relegated to a difficult-to-access afterthought??
If dying with even one mortal sin on your soul can mean an eternity in Hell - parishes should be doing everything they can to get people to go to confession! This should be a priority if they really believe that mortal sin is serious. I don't see any reason why a normal parish can't offer confessions three times a week (unless the reality is that no one would even go!)