Friday, 20 March 2020 – Going to Confession in a Time of Pandemic
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As we start this important post, let’s keep in mind that awesome passage from St. Paul to the Romans 8:28: “In everything God works for good for those who love Him.” Yes, God has a wonderful plan for each one of us, despite the situation. Under Divine Providence, the Lord is helping us and His plans are always good!
I also think it is important to say now, the friars are not 100% sure we will be permitted to continue to hear non-emergency confessions as we currently are each day at 4PM in the church. If there is a more comprehensive lockdown for Ohio – or if there is a kind of modification that would be acceptable (such as parking lot confessions), we certainly would inform everyone. We are in contact with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. That being said, we will ALWAYS be there for emergencies, you simply need to call the parish line: (513) 561-5954.
Hopefully, you already saw yesterday’s video (https://youtu.be/ah4VwlMsZ) with Fr. Clement and Fr. Henry on the Feast of St. Joseph on why St. Gertrude is unable to offer public Masses. As Fr. Clement said: “The Mass is worth dying for, but it is not worth killing for.” Instead, be at peace in making a spiritual communion each day. When the friars celebrate our daily conventual (private) Mass we are very much lifting each of you up in prayer that you might know the love and the mercy of God. Below you will find episode #2 of our “Closing the Social Distance” series on the same topic.
Regardless, our suggestion is to come for confession as the friars are ready to help you each day at 4PM. N.B. – Please be aware we are asking if there are more than 25 people in the church to please wait outside and be sure to space yourselves out within the church.
So why go to confession? The Gospel of John 19-23 says:
“In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you,’ and, after saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. ‘As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.’ After saying this he breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained.”
Jesus gave the apostles the power to forgive sins. This gift of receiving mercy is extended to each one of us in a normal way through the sacrament of confession. There are tremendous benefits! The one who goes to confession, well he finds a greater sense of God in his own life. When one starts to go to confession, immediate spiritual growth begins.
We have made available for download (see button below) an Examination of Conscience written by the friars of St. Gertrude Priory; this examination has been used all over the world. You all should know too that if you are unable to get to confession, a sincere act of contrition suffices.
We are continuing to prepare audio and visual content, including daily Mass audio recordings, prayers and devotions, discussions and lectures. We’ll be in touch each day, so be sure to check your email and share it with others.
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Oremus pro invicem—let us pray for one another!
The Dominican Friars