I BELIEVE that I’m a typical 40-odd year-old who is having difficulty understanding where one fits into the Catholic world.
Brought up to go to church every Sunday and go to confession on a regular basis, today I must admit that it has been years since I last went to confession, and I can vaguely remember that we were supposed to go to confession at least once a year.
Many years ago, a Third Rite of Reconciliation was introduced which I saw many hundreds of fellow Catholics there in a spiritual way asking forgiveness for our sins.
Now that is gone, I have not been back to confession and I guess there are many hundreds of thousands of fellow Catholics in Australia like me.
I doubt if I’ll ever go back to confession, so I’m now challenged with this question – am I still a Catholic?
Can I go to communion? What do I teach my children? I would guess that most Catholic children who have made their reconciliation in the past 10 years or so have never been back to reconciliation.
I have five children who have no real interest in going to church yet I have promised at baptism that they would attend Sunday Mass. While I sit in church, I see very few young people there. I wonder what is happening with the Faith.
I recently asked my children why they don’t want to go to Mass. They replied it is not the cool thing to do.
As one of our daughters this year approaches the time for her confirmation, I have been challenged by our local priest – don’t just enrol the children because it is the right thing to do.
Already, over the past four years, I have had two other children confirmed and received First Communion. What do I do now? I spoke to a lot of ladies afterwards, and they are all basically having their children confirmed for the reasons that we are not supposed to do.
If you think I’m confused, well you are right – as one comes to grips with where one stands in the Church fighting past upbringing, with what is right today.
Can someone please help me understand where I fit into the Church today without reconciliation? Where do I stand as a parent? Do I just sit back and let the sacraments happen for the remaining three children as Father will never know and in time I will forget that I enrolled my children for the wrong reasons.
Life is changing in the Church and I talk to so many other Catholic people around my age who also are confused.
It is easy for us to be told that we have to go to First Rite of Reconciliation but I would guess very few people use it.
So I ask the bishops of Australia – there is a problem here that needs to be addressed. We have heard the rules were enforced on them some time ago. But we Catholics are not doing what you want us to do because we had something else that we were more comfortable with.
I guess if a survey was taken of who has been to confession over the past three to four years, the number would be very low.
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