Parishes report increase in people going to confession

By | May 8, 2013

Of the parishes that responded to the survey, 80 percent stated that they promoted the initiative either “a good amount” or “a real lot.” Eighty-two percent of respondents said they offered additional confession opportunities during Lent, and 75 percent reported an increase in the amount of people celebrating the sacrament this year in comparison to other years.LIO-Horizontal-Color-Large.jpgweb2

Almost all respondents said that this Lenten initiative had value. One-third of the respondents said it had value but not much impact, 45 percent said it had good impact and 18 percent said it had tremendous value. Eighty-two percent recommended promotion of the sacrament next year.

“Some of the comments (from priests and pastoral leaders) indicated that preaching about the sacrament was helpful,” said Fr. Tom Long, vicar for ministers. “Participation seemed to go up as Lent progressed. There was more of an emphasis on individual confession, which allowed for more time and perhaps quality, for people. … Wednesday evenings were not necessarily a good time for some places, as that is the time for religious education and then it became hard to find priests to help with confessions.”

Many priests and pastoral leaders reported that the initiative was very helpful in bringing people back to the sacrament who had been away for many years, some as many as 25 to 40 years.

One priest reported that he went from 10 extra people on the first Wednesday of extended hours to at least 50 people at the last one. Some parishes reported that confession time periods lasted longer than three hours and some went as late as 10 p.m. The lines were long and the confessions were good, said one priest. Others also mentioned that they would like to continue the effort and offer extra times throughout the year.

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