Thursday, July 21, 2011

fun with confession...

... confession can be awkward and hard enough as it is, humbly kneeling to bare our sins. Naturally, this situation is ripe for anecdotes ...

Hilary proposed a fun game; name the strangest place or circumstances you've ever had your confession heard.


Dymphna said...

The parking lot of the Nationals baseball stadium in DC.

Father Schnippel said...

heard them in the cash room of a bar during sessions of theology on tap

Terry Nelson said...

The men's dressing room in a church goods store.

Joel said...

In the front yard of a friend's place whilst at a BBQ.

Old Bob said...

About 6:30 pm on a hot August, after Mass. Father was hungry and so was I, so we adjourned to our favorite pizza joint. After pizza and beer we adjourned to my living room, where the confession continued. As I was driving Father back to the rectory, I realized he had not yet absolved me, so he gave me absolution in the front seat of my car at 12:30 am. Six-hour confession.

Anonymous said...

In a confessional in a Church.


Elisabeth said...

Out of curiosity, as I love it, where (geographically) was this picture taken? I have a similar one of a priest hearing confessions during the Solidarity strikes in Gdansk, Poland, and I am always fascinated by the notion of being willing to so publicly engage in such a difficult and stressful experience as Confession. Speaks to a deep human need, that's for darn sure.

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi said...

My First Confession (at 7 years old) was under an open staircase at what I think was an Elks Lodge where Mass was said every Sunday in a room rented at that building. A blanket was hung from the stairs to separate Fr & I. After that we moved and I had to go to confession in a house with upstairs attic that was converted into a chapel. The 80's were tough!

Father Christensen said...

I have heard numerous confessions in cars and bars.

Lee Gilbert said...

Fr. C. John McCloskey tells of getting on an elevator in the Opus Dei building as it was being constructed in Manhattan. After descending a few floors the elevator stopped and a construction worker got on. Seeing Father's collar he immediately began, "Bless me, Father for I have sinned"... and exitted absolved when they reached his floor.

Keystone said...

We were in the dining room.
To the side, a blanket-like cover was placed over a horizontal pole, as a screen. You could not see through it. Just the two chairs and legs.

The priest requested that when the last person was out there, the person PRIOR tell him there is one more.
Meanwhile, everybody in the room, opposite the blanket, gabbed until their turn came along.

It was a three day weekend retreat for the deaf, and the priest was deaf. Hence, the need to be notified when no one else would be coming to see him.
All others were deaf too.

While everyone could see the feet of priest and person, the communication of the whole group continued on varied topics.

Why? All were signing with ASL and their hands.
No one in the room could hear a word.
The priest included!

On the far said of the blanket, confession was in ASL (American Sign Language) as was the whole retreat, homily, and Mass. (several over the three days).

The church and brilliant red stained glass windows, and full marble altar were on the floor above.

A very young, deaf girl in the community came to Sunday Mass, and was introduced by the priest as deaf. He finger spelled her name.
She stood by him the whole time, to see his hands talk. He had her up there, for this was her First Holy Communion.
I was surprised she took both elements.
SHE was too! Her facial expressions told more than anyone's hands spoke. :)

I am still learning ASL as my deafness is recent.
They brought in an interpreter for me. She "listened" to the priest signings, and mouthed the words to me. I read lips excellently, and at one point asked if her talking was bothering the crowd, as she told me what the priest said.

She replied that no one could hear a word she said anyway, but she was simply "mouthing" the words silently, and I was reading that.

The retreat was full three days and we stayed there as it was a training spot for priests and had shower, private rooms, kitchen, etc. My interpreter did not stay, but returned in the morning for each of the days.

EACH person had to look at the priest, from their respective chairs. It is an unusual experience to be absolved of sin in silence, indeed, to have a whole confession in silence.

We need more deaf priests!
They are awesome speakers.

Anonymous said...

I once drove up to a priest (a family friend) as he crossed the church parking lot. I rolled down my window and asked if he'd hear my confession. It took all my strength not to start by saying, "I'd like a Big Mac with a Coke...."
A priest in our diocese once wrote that as he was filling his gas tank at a gas station late one night, a car came screeching up to the pump next to his. A woman dressed as...uhmmm...a doorway debutante leaped out and ran over to him. She said, "Father, you gotta help me. I've been doing things with men." "For money?" the priest asked. She nodded, then she fell to her knees and began confessing, right there on the little gas-pump island. After the priest had given her absolution, she said, "That man driving the car is my brother. I called him tonight to help me get out of The Life, and he's taking me back home now." The priest gave her his blessing before she got back in the car and rode off. I hope she made a clean break with her old life.

Tina said...

In front of an abortion mill after I was done with a morning of sidewalk counseling with the good Priest who was out there praying with us.

TCN said...

At the basement Rathskeller during college. Pretty hard to go on drinking and carousing after that.