Cleansing Fire

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Long lines for Confession at BK

December 20th, 2011, Promulgated by Mike

A reader with children attending Bishop Kearney Junior/Senior High School reports that the school offered a Communal Penance service last week, followed by individual confession with a priest.

Students, of course, were not required to celebrate the sacrament, yet a large number chose to do so.  It took more than two hours for all to be heard.

The Faith would appear to be alive and well at BK.

HT/ CathMom

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14 Responses to “Long lines for Confession at BK”

  1. avatar Pietro says:

    I wouldn’t get too excited about the service. I have a child who attends BK and based on the descriptions of the service it was more structured like a general absolution service and kids were merely encouraged to go to private confession. (And for those who don’t know, general absolution does not absolve a person from making a private confession)

    As for the private confession. My child was not asked to recite an act of contrition, not sure how absolution was given and was given no pennance.

    FYI, BK also has students act as eucharistic ministers which I personally think is just not appropriate. Aquinas does the same and I know of several kids acting as eucharistic ministers who have told me personally they never go to mass. Just the wrong message.

    From what I’ve seen and heard, services at BK are better then others but it’s a far cry from where they need to be.

  2. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    With all the questionable example there, I would yank my kid out if (s)he went there and send him/her to a school where the religious formation program is stronger and more in keeping with the magisterium!!

  3. avatar JLo says:

    Let’s send our own message of esteem for orthodoxy (define that as “with the mind of the Church”) by not using terms like “eucharistic minister” unless referring to the priest celebrant, who is the only Eucharistic Minister at Holy Mass. I even hear priests from the altar refer to laity as Eucharistic Ministers all the time, and parishes publish assignments using that incorrect term, instead of teaching with the voice of the Church: so disheartening that so many instructions from Rome are just ignored.

    The Church has instructed us that the term for such laity is rightly “Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion”. This is just one of so many things ignored instead of being embraced. Is it any wonder the lack of reverence in ALL things by so many? Is it any wonder that we cannot be in the sanctuary before or after Holy Mass in quiet to visit with the Lord, because the noise level is like at a high school basketball game? Is it any wonder that we’re treated to female cantors and other women in tight pants running around on the altar at daily and Sunday liturgies, and teens in tight jeans acting as ushers who collect and then bring the offerings onto the altar dressed that way? So disheartening. Would they go to a wedding dressed that way? To even a card party?!

    What would it cost those serving on the altar to at least wear a jacket if they choose to wear pants? Men, too… what kind of example do you set for youth by the way you present yourself serving on the altar, with jeans and tee shirts, even tee shirts with sayings on them! If you cannot dress appropriately, then decline the honor!

    Sorry… I’ve just this week experienced this stuff in overload, and it puts me in a funk (defined as “a state of melancholy or hopeless sadness”). We complain about schools and Buffalo Road and liturgists, etc., but how do we give example of our own profound reverence for Jesus’ Presence? And do we gently suggest to our family and neighbors that perhaps we could all do better in the areas of dress and silence?

    We need to know our Faith, really know it, so we have the proper awe and can thus pass the Faith on wholly as the Church teaches and as Jesus would want us to. We may not be getting such teaching from the ambo, but we do have publications such as the Catechism and the GIRM. We will have no excuse before God for not knowing and not giving good witness.

    Thanks for listening.

    +JMJ

  4. avatar Jim says:

    Why do we whine, when a Catholic (or mostly Catholic) School offer the students a chance for individual confessions, and there is a two hour line? I say Halleluia!! It’s nice to know that my Alma Mater is still practicing the faith! Let’s give credit where credit is due!

  5. avatar iteachthefaith says:

    1. The Advent Penance Service at BKHS did not give general absolution to those who attended the service. Verified by the priest that led the service.
    2. Pietro says: “As for the private confession. My child was not asked to recite an act of contrition, not sure how absolution was given and was given no pennance”.~ Should a school advise a priest on how he should conduct or what he should say during the confession he is hearing? Confession is a private sacrament that should not be discussed after it has taken place.
    3. During religion classes for two weeks leading up to the service, all baptised catholic students were encouraged to participate in a private confession.
    4. Pietro says:”FYI, BK also has students act as eucharistic ministers which I personally think is just not appropriate. Aquinas does the same and I know of several kids acting as eucharistic ministers who have told me personally they never go to mass. Just the wrong message” ~ During the 2011-12 school year there are 4 senior students that serve as “Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion” at monthly school masses. All four of these students are trained and serve this role in their parish, AND attend weekly mass as verified by their Pastor. Mass attire is full school uniform.
    5. Raymond F. Rice says:”send him/her to a school where the religious formation program is stronger and more in keeping with the magisterium” ~ At high school level the Didache text is used for religious instruction….which, if investigated is totally in keeping with the magisterium.

    Hope this clears up any misunderstandings from previous posts.

  6. avatar Chrysostom says:

    Thanks for the post, Mike! I totally agree with Jim that the headline, “Long Lines for Confession” at a high school is cause enough for joy. After all, these kids have lived all their lives admist a culture that essentially denies any existence of sin. Evidently, something in their Catholic education must be working to counteract this idea!

    Actually, I had the opportunity to attend this Penance Service, which was just that: Scripture, prayer, homily, and examination of conscience. No general absolution was given. In fact, the importance of individual confession was emphasized in the homily, which could account for the impressively large number of students who took advantage of the sacrament that day.

    I can’t speak to how each of the priests conducted the individual confessions, but I do know that each person who stayed for confession was given a pamphlet with an examination of conscience on it, as well as the standard formula for making a confession, including the Act of Contrition. I did see the priests using this pamphlet as a guide to help students though their confessions.

    God bless the good priests who gave of their time to come over to Kearney that day so that so many students could avail themselves of this sacrament of mercy and forgiveness, and thanks to the school for giving these kids the opportunity and encouragement to do so.

  7. avatar TL says:

    My son, a 10th grader at BK, got in the car when I picked him up that day and positively gloated how happy he was to have gotten in line for confession quickly enough that he got to go to lunch (and that he could sleep in on Saturday instead of going to our usual confession!). Many of his fellow students missed both their lunch, their free period, and part of their next class just to go to confession! We then had a very nice conversation about how many kids want to go to confession but their parents just won’t take them, and how great it is to get the chance to go at school. BK is most definitely trying, and I daresay they are just as orthodox as the next Catholic high school in the Rochester area. I am inspired to great hope for the future by these young people at BK and elsewhere. God bless them, their teachers, and the priest(s) that attend to their spiritual needs.

  8. avatar Pietro says:

    I am glad to hear that the service was indeed not a general absolution service as some have described. As for confession, I do not think it is the school’s role to tell a priest how to conduct confession. It is something he should just know how to do. And while it is true that the confession is private, when a sacrament is unrecognizable to a child who has been properly trained how to make a confession it is certaintly something to be discussed. I would hope that any parent who sends their child to a catholic school would always be questioning how matters of the faith are taught and presented. It would be foolish to do otherwise.

    I will give credit to BK for doing things better than other catholic schools in the diocese. I was happy to hear my child say after the first mass of the year that students were told that only catholics should receive communion. However, we should not be striving to be merely “just as orthodox as the next Catholic high school” especially in this diocese. These children, for the most part, are being starved of proper instruction of the Faith.

    It’s good that children are encouraged to receive reconciliation, however, are the children also informed that they should not receive The Sacrament if they are not spiritually prepared? Hopefully, some of that was discussed during last week’s service.

    I know many who read this blog are okay with extraordinary ministers. I’m not and I’m okay with it. You may disagree, but I see the use of laymen to distribute communion as one of the many symptoms of the greater problem of how the Blessed Sacrament has lost it’s true meaning in the post Vatican II church. You can also add standing, receiving in the hand and short confession lines to the list of other symptoms. I think there might be a man in Rome who wears a white hat that agrees with me on this.

    All that being said, I hope the BK will make the best effort to present the Faith in line with the magisterium of the church. I think their survival will depend on it. Hopefully, with new diocesan leadership on the horizon those efforts will be supported and hastened.

  9. avatar Ink says:

    Pietro,
    Maybe you might want to read some of my previous posts on Aquinas. As far as I can tell, the “campus minister” is still a woman with a fondness for wearing an alb and pretending to be a bit like a deacon–especially if priests let her. More orthodox priests don’t want to say Mass there because they don’t really want to deal with this. I had some very disturbing experiences there regarding the Eucharist, Eucharistic prayer, and one Mass which I wondered whether or not it was valid. My sisters will probably all go through that school. The new principal runs a very tight ship, however, so apparently it is better this year. Nonetheless, they need prayers. And an alum to donate a full set of proper Eucharistic vessels and stress how much it would mean to them if they used it. I might do that some day.

  10. avatar Pietro says:

    Hi Ink. I was there to witness most of what you just described. I was there for the Father Bob mass. I saw consecrated hosts dropped on the floor by a couple of students tasked with collecting the left over hosts into one vessel during another. (No clue what the were doing) I was also encouraged to see one student with the courage to represent her faith by wearing a chapel veil. 🙂

    You’re right about the priests and its a shame because two of the best priests in this diocese are Aquinas alums and the would never set foot in that building today.

  11. avatar Rich Leonardi says:

    As for the private confession. My child was not asked to recite an act of contrition, not sure how absolution was given and was given no pennance.

    I believe the sacramentary permits a priest to suspend the reciting of an act of contrition (or ask the penitent to say it privately) to facilitate the flow of penitents in such settings.

  12. avatar Rich Leonardi says:

    Maybe you might want to read some of my previous posts on Aquinas. As far as I can tell, the “campus minister” is still a woman with a fondness for wearing an alb and pretending to be a bit like a deacon–especially if priests let her.

    I visited the Mission Bouts a couple of years ago and recall a female campus minister being invited to lead an opening prayer. It was strange. She had no more right to be doing it than the guy holding the spit bucket.

  13. avatar Raymond F. Rice says:

    You want to see lines at a confessional??? Check out Father Anthony CFR when he is in town. You have to pack water and food when you wait in the line!!LOL

  14. avatar annonymouse says:

    Long lines for confession at BK? Kids missing lunch and free time to confess their sins? PRAISE THE LORD! In a culture that downright encourages sin (denying there is such a thing, of course) and a Church that seldom talks about it, this is cause for great joy! Well done, Bishop Kearney H.S.! And thank you to the unnamed priest who gave up much of his day to bring Christ’s saving and forgiving love to these starving students!


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