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Lenten Penance Service

I can’t believe…still processing…the church was nearly full during the Penance Service this evening. As usual, we started with just a handful but people (kids to retirees) kept coming even after the penitential rite and confession officially ended around 8:30, that’s an hour and a half with only 8 priests’ confessors. Since my arrival, I’ve never seen the church as packed as it was tonight for confession. It says a lot about the need for forgiveness, of hearing that we are loved, that we are forgiven, that we are cleansed, that someone cares for us, that we can start anew, that we are not alone, that we are in the same boat, that seeing fellow sinners repent makes us hopeful, that confession is personal and spiritual and isn’t a bad thing and better done in the presence of a priest than with a bar tender, a perfect stranger, or in a reality show. For real, behind what we wear, underneath our beautiful clothing, there’s a person in need of love and care and attention and a million dollar hug…

Prayers answered. I’m happy for my people. The message is clear enough and cannot be overemphasized. In confession, we embrace our sinfulness, bring our weary souls into the mix, perform spiritual workouts -a must in modern society (first step being examination of conscience (review of life-make sure to turn all your gadgets off-huge distraction if you don’t, close your eyes and feel the sound of silence) followed by contrition (being sorry for our sins), confession (telling our sins to the priest), seek God’s mercy and compassion and go from there. Amen.

This entry was posted in: Catholicism


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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