Where do you go to Confession

This is sort of a spin off on the poll about how often we go to Confession.

I wondered where people are going? Do you go to your own Parish, or a neighboring one?

Do you have a regular confessor? Or do you just jump in line at the scheduled times and get whomever?

It’s been tugging at me that I should go WAAAAYYY more often than I do (which is only once or twice a year), but to be quite frank, I am embarrassed in front of my Pastor. He’s a stoic type and hard to read, I feel really awkward with him even just having a casual conversation. I have a hard time imagining baring my soul to him. I am also one of those women who has the “gift of tears”… I cry often during emotional stuff (certain hymns, prayers, etc), and have never made it through a confession without breaking down. I feel silly with this particular priest, he’s just not the type of guy you feel Ok weeping around!

I was thinking that I would go to a neighboring Parish to a priest who I don’t know…but is that cowardice? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

My parish, my pastor. :slight_smile:

Technically, my home parish is in a city 7 hours away from where I temporarily live, and the priest only offers Confession 30 minutes/month, so I don’t go there.

I don’t go to the church in the city where I temporarily live, but I also stopped going there, and now drive to another city for Mass and confession. However, I’m moving again, so I don’t know what I’ll do then. :shrug:

I am a parish hopper when it comes to confession. There is 1 parish I avoid after a horrible experience, and this past Wednesday night I went to another parish only to find a crowd right out side the confessional door listening to everyword that was being said. That really left a bad taste and I left in search of yet another parish. I e-mailed the Pastor about what I witnessed and suggested a gentle reminder in the bulletin and maybe a CD of meditational music would help.

I meet with my Pastor monthly for spiritual guidance and while we have grown close, I want to keep confession seperate from those talks so I also avoid him.

There are a couple sins that I routinely struggle with and I feel awkward going back to the same priest over and over again. I don’t want him to doubt my sincerity and think that I am using confession as a loop-hole to continue sinning. I did really like the Priest I finally found on Wednesday night and I will probably continue to visit him.

Once lent is over, confession opportunities go back to 1x weekly instead of the current
3-4x a week.

So, the short answer is, I tend to jump around

It is not cowardice; it is your right to do that.

I typically go to my spiritual director for confession, or if it’s our off-week, to my parish’s regular time.

The same church I go to on Saturday or Sunday. With the same priest and I choose to do so face to face. After 22 years away I had some sightly sins to confess and while I was embarrassed I also was more concerned about making things right. I went back for a second confession this past Wednesday. Again with something sightly to confess that I had remembered since the original confession, to the regular same priest and still face to face.

The way I figure it is, it’s uncomfortable and not at all enjoyable and so it shouldn’t be (I don’t think it needs to be painful either but certainly not something to be taken lightly.) I find, it a little more humbling. Believe me I considered going to the regular Saturday confession and having the option of an anonymous confession this time around because I felt INCREDIBLY embarrassed. I prayed for the courage to go to church to speak with Father even though I felt the way I did.

I confessed … I closed my eyes for the absolution and felt as if all the dirt and grim and everything I was covered in being washed away. (If I could live in that one moment always, I think I might be hard pressed to want to try any others.)

I darted up the stairs to the chapel for the last 20 minutes of adoration. My first!

So yeah, I go to my regular church, with my regular priest.

I do always choose face to face confessions.

I feel like I need to look him in the eye. Also I like to see the compassion that he share back. After 17yrs away I had some doosies to confess.

What follows assumes you’re not scrupulous. If you worry at all about God’s love and forgiveness, find a good priest to help you work out the right approach. Read no further.

Otherwise, if you really want to be holy shoot for every 2 weeks, face-to-face, to the same solid priest.

All of these things are entirely optional and your choice. But, if you go frequently, you will not have a chance to fall into serious sin (as easily, anyway), so you will not have many embarrassing sins to confess. You don’t have to wait for a mortal sin to go to confession. Before long, you’ll probably find yourself struggling to think of things to confess. You’ll be working on smaller and smaller sins (i.e. getting holier and holier). Frequent confession will also be enable you to earn more powerful indulgences if you’re so inclined.

There is no obligation to confess face-to-face. Personally, it feels more like I’m confronting my sins if I face Jesus in person. Having to face the priest is also powerful motivation to clean up my act and not have to confess the same things again. This is a pretty personal decision, though. If the priest makes you really nervous or embarrassed, anonymous is probably better.

Having a regular confessor fosters trust and accountability. First, it can be hard to find a good confessor, so if you find one you should stick with him. Beyond that, frequent confession with a regular confessor becomes an ongoing conversation with consistency and trust. He can give you better and more consistent spiritual advice as he gets to know you. And you will have enhanced motivation to improve yourself.

Whether your confessor is your pastor or not is less important. By all means, go to another parish for confession if you prefer. You might want to start small - maybe try go every week for the rest of Lent. See how it goes. It’s a great way to experience God’s love and grace.

All that said, I shoot for every 2 weeks, to my pastor, face-to-face.

For many years I went to the Opus Dei priest who visits our city once a week. A few years ago, that became inconvenient because of my circumstances, so one day I tried a priest at a neighboring parish. He was extremely helpful, so I continued going to him for as long as he was stationed there. When he left, I spent a year and a half looking for someone to take his place. I tried lots of neighboring parishes and often went to my own pastor. He’s a great guy, but I like to go deeper into things than he does. Finally, this past September, I found the right one!

I mostly have a regular Confessor, but there is an alternate who visits once/week, to whom I can go if my regular one is not available. I do not go face to face, because I find visuals distracting, and, with rare exception find that it inhibits me from being fully honest. (i.e., I don’t lie; I forget out of self-consciousness.)

Both the regular and the alternate are located in the same parish which I have adopted for the most part, but particularly for Confession, benediction, most Masses, and Divine Mercy Sunday (as well as other devotions). There is a second church I occasionally attend for their reverent, focused Masses and awesome prayer space, but that church has very few confessional opportunities and treats the sacrament as an occasional afterthought.

Confession is a huge deal for me. I consider it so critical to my relationship with Christ, to the fruits of the Eucharist & my experience of Mass, to the quality of my prayer life, that I only want to go to someone who shows he is just as serious about it as I am. A third confessor (the Pastor) at this parish is more abrupt and more concerned with hurrying people through the whole line; by contrast, mine takes his time, without belaboring things; he belabors when necessary (probes).

I finally realized very recently that my Confessor’s line is close to 100% female; most men go to the other Confessor, who is the pastor. The two of them definitely have different styles. (I’ve been to both.) And I can see why women would especially appreciate my Confessor, due to his ‘style.’

I definitely agree with this. Having the same one encourages me to a continuing unfolding of the self as I disclose increasingly more (becoming aware of more). Also, it can be helpful to revisit the same person to let him know that you might have made (wow ;)) actual progress in a particular area. That will encourage your confessor to present more challenges for improvement.

Finally, I firmly believe (experience, actually) that my confessors (all 3 that I have mentioned) have prayed for me. What a bonus! Seriously, a confessor that senses or realizes he has an engaged penitent whom he is overseeing will reciprocate by praying for the penitent. (I’m sure I’m not the only penitent these priests pray for!)

About every two weeks I go. I try to go to different priests, never face to face, and I get there late so he doesn’t see me before he goes in the confessional! I have some sins I perpetually struggle with and don’t want my priest to see me at Mass and think, “hey, that’s the guy with the ___________ sin!” LOL

I’ll go to our priest. I do prefer to go behind the screen though when I go to him.

He has told us that when he was in seminary he asked about hearing confessions and how do the priests see the people who have come to confession and not think to themselves oh yeah that is Mr Kicks the Dog etc. He was told and his experience has been that he just doesn’t think of the confessions that have been told to him when he sees the people out side of the confessional.

He also has told us about that sometimes people have expected him to remember their confession from the previous time and want to pick up where they left off. He can’t do that because he says he just doesn’t remember. He added would we really want him to. That has made me feel a little more comfortable going to him because I know he is not sitting there going, “really, again, isn’t this like the 4th time you have confessed this same thing.”

We also have an outreach in our local mall. There is a Catholic Center that Capuchin friars run. They have daily mass twice a day, closed on Sundays. They hear confessions all day, except during mass times.
It is neat because the volunteers there have told me that this center has been instrumental in bringing people back to the church or even into it for the first time.
A number of Catholics take advantage of this, mass is well attended and there is a line for confession.

Our priest jokes when he hasn’t had a lot of people come to confession on a weekly basis he says, "I know, I know you all go to the mall.’
I told him I go there because they have better hours than he does. : )

Also it is rare for me to get the same priest twice in a row. I go to face to face there and it is a lot more comfortable.

I guess the main thing is not so much where we go, as long as we go. Christ is going to be there no matter where it is.

When I was in the Philippines, it was normal to go to any parish for Mass. In a given year I think I would regularly go to at least 5 parishes. I chose a particular parish thats not close to where I live to go to confession. Also, I chanced upon once and I liked one of the priests there which is another factor I chose that parish as the place I would normally go to confession.

When I moved to Canada, they hold regular Penitential Services during Advent and Lent. I would go to my parish during the service but will choose a priest thats not my pastor. Although there are times I really need to make a confession and will go to the regularly scheduled one with my pastor. I did mean to find another parish one time but it was just too inconvenient.

Today that I’ve moved to an Eastern parish and I’ve also seen the value of having a regular confessor, I’m planning to go to confession soon in the Byzantine Rite and with our pastor.

I go to my own parish, generally after either First Friday or First Saturday Mass. I generally have the same priest to hear my confession, but if he is out, the monsignor takes over and hears it. :slight_smile:

Oh, if you don’t feel comfortable confessing to him, then by all means don’t! There’s a certain priest at my parish that I don’t confess to because he seems very judgmental to me. I’m not accusing him of this, but he certainly does give that impression. However, oddly enough, I enjoy the way he says the Mass more than any of the other priests at my parish. Go figure! :shrug:

I go mainly to my local parish and to the parish priest for face to face confessions. There has been sometimes i have gone to the confession booth anonymously before mass and once to another parish before mass anonymously.

But, i figured out that sticking with my parish priest and do things face to face like a true man would have, is the best thing to do. Besides, it is for the better thing to let a confession father witness your progress so he can step in and help if you stumble or struggle in your spiritual path.

My priest today told me to get to the point and not repeat myself even though I did neither! He was so rude to me. sheeshh

Yikes!!! That is horrible. I totally would not be going back to him.

I go to a neighboring parish (my former parish). I live almost equal distance between my current parish and this parish. I’m more comfortable with most of the priests there.

May I ask, If you have faith in the Jesus’ command of Peter, What you bind on earth is bound in heaven and loosed … why would you fear seeing your own Priest. I feel it strenghtens our relationship. He sees me as the tax collector in Johns Gospel. I sinner who realizes he is a sinner and humbles himself before God begging for his grace.

We all have something that we may not have been proud to confess. But, by confessing we show God we believe in his mercy. If we hide it or attempt to hide it I feel we are as silly as Adam and Eve in the Garden. God knew what they had done. And they thought he did not. … “Who told you were were naked. Have you eaten of the tree of knowledge?”
Forgive me if I misquote that. I hope my feelings are made clear.
To answer, I go to my own Parish. And my own Priest. Because the seal of confession does not allow him to hold it against me.

God bless,

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