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An unexpected surge in confessions?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Aug 21, 2014

Have you noticed that when you go to Confession these days, you wait longer in line? I thought perhaps this was happening only in my parish, but friends elsewhere report a similar phenomenon.

A friendly priest, with whom I chatted recently, reports that he’s long been in the habit of bringing his breviary when he takes his shift in the confessional. But recently he hasn’t opened it; he’s busy for the whole session.

Rarely do I hear a homily encouraging regular confession, or read a pastoral letter on the subject. And yet… Is something going on, beneath the radar? What’s your experience?

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: LaudemGloriae - Aug. 23, 2014 4:18 PM ET USA

    There seemed to be a larger than normal number of people for confession at Easter in my parish in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Several priests were present as usual and line-ups were long for each one.

  • Posted by: howland5905 - Aug. 22, 2014 7:08 PM ET USA

    Haven't noticed much change in my area. I'm in the practice of going for confession twice a month and there's usually only a couple of others there. Our Diocese has made an effort to encourage the practice, having all churches open for confessions every Tuesday in Lent. I thank God for confession--the path of penance to joy!

  • Posted by: Defender - Aug. 21, 2014 10:32 PM ET USA

    It seems the same as always in So. Cal. Almost all Confessions are an hour before Mass on Saturday. During Lent there was an unexpected time set for Confessions during the early afternoon on a weekday and there was a huge turnout (two priests were there for a couple of hours). This should have said something to the pastor and the diocese, but no (I'm sure it interfered with something else, especially since the pastor lives in a private home that is a little distance away owned by the diocese).