Encouraging confession among young Catholics

A New Freedom priest urges pastors and Catholic educators to do more to encourage confession among young people, in this month’s issue of US Catholic magazine.
For years, the Rev. Robert Nugent — a Salvatorian priest and adjunct clergy at St. John the Baptist Church in New Freedom — has been a confessor at a local youth retreat house and at a diocesan high school — a decision motivated by a desire to stay in touch with the millennial Catholic population.
He noticed a sizable group of youth never approached a priest during penance services and wanted to know why. Through an informal survey of nearly 700 students, Nugent found many felt they “could get forgiveness directly from God and did not need to tell their sins to another human person like themselves.”
Nugent says clergy should make more of an effort to educate youth about why sin and confession are important, especially considering the serious issues many teens face today — from depression to divorce to alcoholism.
“The sacrament of reconciliation is not a substitute for therapy, but for some of our kids it is the only experience they might have to unburden themselves, perhaps for the first time, of a well-kept secret with a sensitive, wise, and compassionate listener who can counsel and advise in a prayerful setting,” Nugent wrote.
“For others it might be the first step toward more sustained professional help. For all of them, at least for a few minutes, it is dialogue with a concerned adult who seems to understand and empathize.”
To read more from Nugent, see this recent issue of Reader’s Digest where he describes the meditative experience of working with horses.

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2 Responses to Encouraging confession among young Catholics

  1. Dotty says:

    Hey, good to find someone who argees with me. GMTA.

  2. Jayhawk says:

    Heck of a job there, it absolultey helps me out.

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