Fr. Fox on Confession

Fr. Martin Fox is the parish priest of St. Remy Church in Russia, Ohio, Archdiocese of Cincinatti. The church has an interesting history, detailed here. Particularly interesting, although not detailed in the history, is the reconstruction of the sanctuary in 2010, to restore it to something approaching its original beauty (see photos at the bottom of the “History” page. This was, I believe, undertaken as part of a generalized effort to restore reverence in the Mass, and which has included (among other things) “Ad orientem” worship (priest along with all the congregation facing the tabernacle, vs. the priest facing the people). He does this using the Novus ordo liturgical form; you can read about his approach here, in particular pay attention to the Comments. Which way the priest faces during Mass can be perceived as trivial and even silly, and the topic is often portrayed that way. In fact, it is anything but trivial; it is central to the overall perception regarding who, exactly, is the centerpiece of the action: is it God, or is it the priest? However, this is grist for a different post.

For now, it is enough to know that Fr. Fox has a blog on which he writes from time to time. This particular post, on Confession, which I first saw on Fr. Z’s blog here, is linked in its entirety here. Although Fr. Fox’s post is directed towards his brother priests, we have a part as well (my emphasis).

“…Now, I know what a lot of people -- including priests -- will say: people won't come.

To which I say, yes and no.

Yes, it's true that adding more hours of confession may not make much of a difference, if that's all you do. But if you also talk about it, from the pulpit, in the bulletin, and other ways; if you talk about your own need for confession and how it's helped you; if you really go after it...then yes, it will help. You will see more people…”

Priests are busy, it takes work to fit in time for confessions. People are busy, and it takes work to go to confession. I challenge any one of you to exceed my skill in finding reasons to NOT go to confession: you will fail. However, if the Catholic Church is true in her teachings, we all need to do this, and stop gaffing it off.

Curate, ut valeatis.

St Remy Sanctuary Russia, Ohio.jpg