Friday, July 17, 2009

But What's The SOLUTION?
Time will tell

His Excellency, Bishop Daniel Walsh of Santa Rosa, California, has just done an excellent job of pointing out the obvious. Here's just a tad of the article from The California Catholic Daily; (Emphasis mine)
"We have lost the sense of sin"
Santa Rosa bishop, citing decline in Sacrament of Penance since Vatican II, calls on faithful to return to regular confession

(Editor’s Note: The letter below by Santa Rosa Bishop Daniel Walsh was published in the Summer 2009 edition of The North Coast Catholic, the official newsletter of the Diocese of Santa Rosa.)

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Every 3,000 miles or so, we change the oil in our car. There may not be any major problem with our engine. But slowly, over time, minor impurities have been building up. If we leave those impurities unattended, they will eventually result in major and costly problems for our car.

The sacrament of penance is like an oil change for the soul. It’s like moving the furniture of our souls and getting to the places that escape everyday cleaning. It is like periodically checking the garden of our souls for weeds that hamper our discipleship.

Since the Second Vatican Council and the cultural revolution of the 1960’s, the Sacrament of Penance has experienced a decline. We can list many reasons but I don’t think one of them is that we have stopped sinning! I think in our permissive society we have lost the sense of sin.

The main point of this letter is to encourage all of us, priests and people, to come back to this sacrament. I know there are many people who for many reasons haven’t been to confession for a long time and may not remember how to go, or may not feel comfortable going. Whatever the reason, I invite all to come back home, come back to the Lord.
Alrighty then... I've cruised the Diocese of Santa Rosa website and clicked on a few parishes at random to see exactly when (AND IF!) they have Confession scheduled.

I've purposefully left out Missions for obvious reasons. But I think you just might find what I've seen to be... "interesting"... shall we say? Keep in mind, these are just a handful chosen at random.

St. Leo the Great Church, Boyes Hot Springs - Service during Advent & Lent; Private Reconciliation by appointment. (NOTE from Caveman: 2 priests in residence)

Sacred Heart Church, Eureka - Saturday 4:00-4:30pm and by appointment.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, Rohnert Park - 2nd & 4th Saturday 4:00pm and by appointment. (NOTE from Caveman: 1 priest in residence)

St. Joan of Arc Church, Yountville - Saturday 4:00-4:40pm

Sonoma State University Newman Center, Rohnert Park - Call the Center for more information.

St. Joseph Church, Fortuna - Saturday 4:15-4:45pm and by appointment.

Cathedral of St. Eugene, Santa Rosa - Saturday 3:30-4:30pm
In all sincerity, I congratulate His Excellency for calling a spade a spade. But just stating the obvious is far from a solution.

A great place to start is by kicking his own "obedient" priests squally in the ass and make them conduct themselves like Catholic priests. Confession before Sunday Mass would be a good start. Having the bad manners to mention the reality of Satan and sin every so often might not be a bad idea, either.


Blogger Julie said...

Good for you for pointing out the obvious. 40 minutes of confession per week in parishes of 2500+ people is one of my pet peeves also.

10:37 AM  
Blogger homeschoolofthree said...

You are right, the priests should schedule more often, but don't be so quick to condemn them, give them a little time to digest the letter and schedule pre-Mass Confession. We are all 'adults' going to Confession, people schedule everything else...for goodness sakes...pick up the phone and call your Priest...he just might be waiting on you to wake up and come to your senses!!!

10:56 AM  
Blogger TheSeeker said...

I love Confession. I mean, I don't like being in a state that I have to go, but I think it's a wonderful thing to have. I've been a little irked that my parish canceled Wed night Penance and Holy Hour this month.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Especially for a rural area such as Santa Rosa, Confessions before Sunday Mass would be extremely important to implement.

But props to His Excellency for pointing out what most of us figured out years ago, even if it's a little late.

Actually, there should be Confession before and after each Mass, but that's just my humble opinion.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

At my parish, we have confession before each Sunday Mass and during Mass (two priests in residence). Oh yeah, it's a traditional Latin parish.

12:33 PM  
Blogger plastered505 said...

In my Virginia Beach parish we schedule Reconciliation on the first Thursday of each month at 5:45 PM. It's difficult to get there on time since I leave work (14 miles away, heavy traffic) at 5:30. I estimate that our priest hears less than 10 confessions at the scheduled time each month. We never hear about sin or salvation during homilies, but we hear quite a lot about "community." Our deacon spun the Gospel of Mary and Martha into a lesson on the need for community. (I'd love to hear a definition of "community" that doesn't use the work.)

We have almost 1500 families. Less than 15% (generous estimate) of our members attend the holy sacrifice of the Mass (or "do liturgy") on Holy Days of Obligation. Approximately 150 go to confession in a year. Yet well over 90% receive Holy Communion on Sunday. But boy do we do nice things for the homeless and our twinned parish in Haiti. I'm all in favor of helping the homeless and Haiti, but don't we have obligations under the First Great Commandment?

12:57 PM  
Blogger Chris Phelps said...

If you look at the website/bulletin for my parish, you will see the standard 4 - 4:45 on Saturday or by appointment. In reality it is also everyday before the noon Mass, before the 12.30 Spanish Mass, and he has even been known to hear confessions right after Mass. Also, the Pastor has been known to be found in the confessional "just because."

Oh, and this is a NO parish with a 74 year old Pastor and a young Parocial Vicar...

1:22 PM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Nice observations.

Seems to me that every parish priest could schedule Confessions from 4-7 PM every weekday and 3-6P on Saturdays.

That may seem to be a lot of time, given that there may only be one priest/parish and there IS paperwork.

BUT with "reconciliation rooms" now attached to confessionals, it should not be too difficult to install a small desk for doing paperwork in the 'free time' that will be available.

The pre-Mass confessions work extremely well but presume only a couple of Sunday Masses. Not as practical in a one-priest parish with (say) 3 Sunday Masses.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

And a tip 'o the Caveman's helmet to you priests. As far as the Novus Ordo is concerned, they are the exception, not the rule.

And may God bless the each of them for doing what they are SUPPOSE to do... without a pastoral letter from their Ordinary.

You know Chris, if more NO-leaning priests were to adhere to ALL the Sacraments, maybe there wouldn't be half the problems they're experiencing currently.

Just a thought. Keep the posts comin'!

3:37 PM  
Blogger Simplex Vir said...

Plastered, I would like to know the name of this parish, would it be....Holy Spirit Parish near Green Run??

My wife and I were married there 22 years ago by a Father Tom Caroluzza. I understand he may still be there. I remember it being very hand holdy and liberalized back then, as many in Va. Beach are anyway.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

i understand (and appriciate) what you're saying... but let me ask you this; why in the world should we have to wait for these priests to "digest" what they should be doing?

Let's step back for a moment here. When a Bishop has to point out the obvious, we, as a Church, are in pretty deep trouble.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Greta said...

This is what irks me about church leadership. Many see their role as writing letters or supporting various issues. Running the dioceses and making sure that it is done in a way that conforms to Catholic Church teaching seems to be foreign to them. When a government person wants to look like they are doing something, they put out a memo or form a committee. Bishops are the boss and have the power to make and change priorities. Just do it.

9:38 PM  
Blogger Chris Phelps said...

"You know Chris, if more NO-leaning priests were to adhere to ALL the Sacraments, maybe there wouldn't be half the problems they're experiencing currently."

That is my prayer daily. I see glimmers of hope with the young seminarians - they are being taught Latin and Greek in the seminary, they are being taught both forms of the Mass (in fact, my son is studying at St. Gregory the Great in Nebraska and the Bishop comes out and celebrates Mass in the Tridentine Rite regularly for them), and the Blessed Mother is always present with them.

I have faith in the Holy Spirit and in the Words of Christ - "I will be with you until the end of the age".

Keep up the great blog - Semper Fi from a tired old Air Force puke..

10:23 AM  

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