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Finding the sacraments in Brisbane

Sacramental appeal: “What would happen if more people sat in the confession line at St Stephen’s on a Saturday evening, so many so that not everyone could be fit into the hour slot, and this happened week after week?” Photo: CNS

Sacramental appeal: “What would happen if more people sat in the confession line at St Stephen’s on a Saturday evening, so many so that not everyone could be fit into the hour slot, and this happened week after week?” Photo: CNS

By Michaela Hillam

IT bugs me that the sacraments are sometimes not more readily available.

I’ve heard of a time when hourly Mass and Reconciliation thirty minutes prior to, was a norm.

Churches were open all day and into the evening and priests were always available.

Perhaps this is something I’ve strung together from watching too many films where characters conveniently stumbled upon a church when they most needed it and the doors were never locked.

Perhaps this was only a thing back when being unchurched was not normal, rather than the other way around.

Perhaps this is reserved practice for Rome.

I’m not entirely sure where I got the idea.

All I know is that it’s not the case in Australia right now and I want it to change.

Last year a friend of mine asked me why I didn’t go to daily Mass and I came up with all sorts of excuses – particularly that it’s not accessible enough.

She challenged me that perhaps I didn’t rate it as high enough a priority because, for her, it was the best part of her day.

The Brisbane Archdiocesan App is a breath of fresh air, but it just highlights how inaccessible our sacraments are sometimes.

Especially when only one feasible option for daily Mass comes up in a search and it’s a 40-minute drive away at 6am.

I see a faithful crowd praying their rosary at 6am in Jubilee Parish or racing from work to St Ignatius at Toowong for 5.30pm Mass.

I see them, probably around 30 at either and I wonder why there are not more.

I reckon I’ve found the problem – there aren’t many people at daily Mass because it isn’t accessible enough, but it isn’t accessible because there isn’t high enough demand to put on more Masses.

What would happen if more people sat in the confession line at St Stephen’s on a Saturday evening, so many so that not everyone could be fit into the hour slot, and this happened week after week?

What would happen if our pews looked like Sunday for every single Mass of the week?

 I think our Church would respond.

Right now, however, we’re communicating with her and with our priests, saying that Mass and Reconciliation are not high priorities.

Are they high priorities to you?

Do you regularly confess?

Is receiving Jesus in the Mass the best part of your day?

Michaela Hillam is young Brisbane Catholic blogger.

Written by: The Catholic Leader

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