St Francis Q&A

Friday, September 28, 2007


Eucharistic Adoration, tonight, 7-8 pm, SAA Church. All who wish to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament are invited!!
Two questions from Anonymous bloggers:

1) “I have a question about a first confession. I am contemplating asking to join the church and have been regularly attending mass and keeping up with the daily readings when I don’t go. I realize that part of my process will involve an initial confession and being in my mid 40s and having never gone before I have a lot of time and actions to cover. How does one usually approach this? Is it sensible to go to several sessions with each one organized around a theme or topic? Does one start with the most recent, the most severe?”

This is a beautiful situation, Anon! It’s beautiful that you are responding to the ways in which God is moving your heart closer to Himself. He wills each one of us to turn our hearts toward Him each day. God truly desires each one of us to experience this beautiful conversion of heart! Your outward acts of regular attendance of Mass, daily readings, and asking how to make a first Confession reveal your sincere and generous response to God’s grace.

I am assuming that when you say that you are “contemplating asking to join the church” you mean that you are not Catholic. If so and if you decide that you want to join the Catholic Church, the program you need to sign up for is RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). RCIA is primarily for those adults who a) are not baptized and b) are baptized non-Catholic Christians. It prepares these a) catechumens and b) candidates to receive the sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation) through a period of intellectual, personal, and spiritual formation. Part of this formation includes a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Sacrament of Confession and how to make a good confession.

So, the first thing you should do is contact a priest at the parish which you are looking to join. He can help you get set up with RCIA. He can either answer your questions about Confession or when you go in the future.

In general terms, though, we do an Examination of Conscience in preparing for Confession. Typically this means we go through the Ten Commandments to examine how we have offended God or neighbor. I posted an Examination on August 24, 2006; please find it under “archives”. Also, there is a pamphlet called “Guide to Confession” which goes through steps of how to make a good confession. If you email me your mailing address, I would be happy to mail you a copy.

Please let us know what else we can to help. We wish you well in your conversion process!

2) Do priests go to other priests to confess? They are strongly encouraged to, yes. I am meeting with my spiritual director later today for our monthly appointment, and I always start our meetings with confession. Can’t wait to be cleaned and freed up!!


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