The Lighter Side Confession Stories – EpicPew

The Lighter Side Confession Stories

Going go confession is uniquely Catholic. It’s an awesome sacrament that brings our souls back to life and infuses it with sacramental graces. At Catholic gatherings, however, I’ve learned that many people have funny confession stories that only a Catholic can appreciate.

For instance, a friend of mine with a large family waiting for Mass one Saturday evening, looked back at the confession line and wondered why her 6-year-old son who had not made his first confession yet was standing in it. She went over to him and asked what he was doing.

“Waiting in line for the bathroom,” he answered.

One of my stories is when my 7-year-old son Jacob popped into my confession looking like he had just seen a ghost.

“Someone is trying to take me,” he said. The fear in his eyes was real. I excused myself to open the door and look outside only to see a line of penitents waiting their turn for confession.

I was just waiting for absolution so I asked the priest if he could just go ahead and give me absolution with Jacob there. When I left the confessional, a man standing in line approached me. “Your son was standing too close to the door, so I had called to him and told to come here.”

Mystery solved. Jacob assumed the strange man, telling him to come here, wanted to take him.

The funniest story I ever heard I included in the Amazing Grace for the Catholic Heart book.
Celia Sattler would often take advantage of confession offered prior to daily Mass. On one occasion, by the time it was her turn, Father Thomas Richter, a newly ordained priest, apologized saying he had run out of time to hear her confession but would be glad to do so after the service.

After Mass, Celia waited in the pews until she saw the green light over the confessional door, signaling that Fr. Tom had returned. It was a Friday, the usual day for church cleaning, so during confession the sounds of a vacuum cleaner reverberated through the door.

After the confession, Celia thanked Father and went to leave but found the door locked. Trying again in vain, she announced she could not get out. Apparently, the janitor had locked the door, not realizing they were inside. Because of all the noise from the vacuum, neither Celia nor Fr. Tom had heard it lock.

“Well, turn the handle,” Fr. Tom said.

“I am trying to,” Celia answered. “It won’t turn.”

Fr. Tom came over from the other side of the screen to try the door himself. After failing to pry it to open, Celia saw a look of panic cross his face. He placed his hands and forehead against the door and prayed aloud, “Dear God, please help us!”

After a few shouts and loud banging on the door from Fr. Tom, a janitor soon came with the key. With a grin he asked, “What’s the matter Father? Did you get locked in with this lady?”

Celia quickly slipped away but always thought she detected a sly grin from Fr. Tom thereafter. She actually had never told the story until she heard I was writing Amazing Grace for the Catholic Heart, a book with both humor and inspiration.

“Oh, I have one for you,” she reported. Before using it however, she wanted me to check with Fr. Tom and make sure he didn’t mind.

Fr. Tom laughed when he recalled the story. “That was Celia?” Celia had made her confession behind a screen, but I had assumed he knew her identity once he came over on her side. Fr. Tom he had had managed to maintain her privacy in spite of the awkward situation. He backed out of his chair and looked down at his shoes while he yelled for help and pounded on the door. Fr. Tom initially told her to bang on the door and call for help herself so as not to intrude on her anonymity.

But then suddenly, he shot out of his chair in a panic and yelled, “No wait! I’ll do it!” Being his first day on the job, it occurred to him that it would not make a good first impression in his new parish to have a lady’s voice screaming from within his confessional: “Help someone! Let me out!”

Fr. Tom said he much preferred being greeted by the janitor’s grin and comments than inciting the imaginations of the people still in church.

Not to make light of the powerful gift of the sacrament of confession but in the midst of this unique gift comes some unique circumstances that only a Catholic can understand.

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