NET Missionaries share Glory Stories, which are moments of grace they experience while serving with NET Ministries.

When’s the Last Time You Went to Confession? 

By Evelyn Martinez | Team 4

 

I had a really good small group of 6th-grade girls on one retreat. At the end, there was a time of large-group prayer; I mentioned that there was going to be Confession available. I could tell that some started to get really nervous, especially one girl in particular. I gave them some time to pray before I asked if anyone needed any help with Confession.

 

Asking for Help

The girl who I noticed called me over and explained to me that she was really nervous to go to Confession. She hadn’t gone since her first Confession while in preparation for her First Communion back in second grade. I got one of our Examination of Conscience sheets from the back of the church. I explained to her what she was to say in the beginning and how to use the different questions to help her think about what to tell the priest. Overall encouraged her by telling her that even I still got nervous about going to Confession.

 

 

Questions We All Have

I could tell that she really had the desire to go but was just really afraid. So I stayed with her a bit more, and she finally decided to go to the back of the church and get in line. She asked me to stay with her as she stood in line and continued to ask me questions such as, “can the priest tell my parents what I told him?” or “what if I can’t remember everything?” I explained to her about the seal of Confession as well as the story of Saint John of Nepomuk, a priest who was martyred because he refused to divulge the secrets of the confessional.

 

 

Free of Fear

Little by little, her nerves began to lessen, and she even began to encourage her peers who were also in line. Unfortunately, due to the number of retreatants who were in line for Confession, she was not able to go but made it very clear to me that she was going to ask her parents to take her to Confession at her parish or even ask her teacher to ask the priest to make an appointment.

At the end of the retreat, she thanked me for walking her through the sacrament and answering all of her questions. She explained that she was less fearful of going to Confession and was excited to go!

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