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I, too, look forward to the day Bishop Sheen is raised to the alter. I also, however, am trusting in God's timing. God isn't saying "no", He is saying, "not yet".


The scheduling of confession at parishes almost exclusively on Saturday afternoons -- and in a brief window of time at that -- has long been a pet peeve of mine. Like the author of the article, I think the weeknight availability of confession during Lent should be something that is seriously considered for adoption all through the year. But the real underlying problem with scheduling confessions more frequently and in time frames more convenient to the modern family is the priestly manpower crisis. Many parishes today in many places in the U.S. are staffed by only one priest. With all the obligations and responsibilities he has for saying Mass ( usually multiple Masses on the weekend ), preaching, trying to spend a few personal moments of time with as many of the parishioners as possible on a weekend, as well as fulfilling his chief administrator responsibilities for the parish, the weekend schedule hardly positions him to prepare himself adequately to administer a sacrament like confession. To expect the parish priest to be available for confession between Masses on a weekend, as was suggested, not only seems to be an unreal expectation of today's parish priest but also would contribute to the "check out counter" mentality that many Catholics have about the sacrament. Confession is not a sacrament that lends itself, in my opinion, to tight time constraints. If priestly vocations continue at the low numbers that we see today throughout our country, we may be facing even more serious problems -- like the regular availability of the Sunday liturgy. The priestly manpower shortage threatens many aspects of our parish and sacramental life. It is one of the most serious problems in the Church today and Church leadership should be more aggressive in addressing it. Yes, we should pray for more priestly vocations. But Church leadership should also be considering other options like ordaining married men -- which doesn't seem to get consideration even though the Church has ordained Episcopal and Anglican clergy into our Roman rite who are married.