Parish
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Confession at Atria…

As part of Pastoral ministry, every second wednesday of the month at 10 in the morning, I hear confessions at the Atria Bell Court Gardens. It’s an independent/assisted living community, originally built in 1926 as a mansion, a 25- room hacienda by an easterner  named Charles Belin. After he died, his wife Rosetta decided to sell the “La Casita” as it was previously called, to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet and made it St. Joseph’s Academy for boys and girls. In the late 70’s, it was acquired by Hillhaven corporation and converted it to a retirement center. In mid 1990’s, Atria Senior Living Group purchased the property and currently operated and run by Atria Company. Historical facts written from memory…

Anyway, my visit this morning was different. Only the 94 year old woman, consistent and second to none in her devotion to the sacrament showed up and actually waited for me at the souvenir shop. I usually go directly to the confessional room but I spotted her while walking to on the way to the place. Are you the only one? Just me, she said. Where are the others? They might have forgotten it again, Father. That’s fine, I replied. I led her into the room, heard her confession and recited the prayer of absolution. Before she left, she uttered something I haven’t heard in a while. Father, you have no idea how your monthly visit to hear my confession mean to me and believe me I’m old enough to be your grandma. It’s a language that never fails to bring tears to my eyes. Thank you said I.

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A Filipino Catholic Priest, born and raised in Virac, Catanduanes, Philippines, ordained for the Diocese of Tucson, AZ, eleven years in ministry and counting, currently assigned as Pastor of St. Christopher Catholic Parish, Marana, AZ.

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