Sunday, 18 April 2010


First Communions and Confirmations, births, baptisms and deaths, are wonderful opportunities to get the whole family to make their confession. I learnt that from don Giacomo Tagliabue long ago in Suello. He would take me along with him to visit a bereaved family, and corner the young son: "Your father would have loved it if you were to make your confession. Why don't you?" And he would push the young man, not completely unwilling, to me: "Here is this young foreign priest. Go to him." 

Don Giacomo also taught me that priests should speak often about confession, and not only that, but provide out of the way opportunities for people to make their confessions. That is why, every Christmas, Easter and even All Souls Day, he would spend time and money getting young priests like me to come up to Suello above Milan, all the way from Rome. And the people would come: not fully 15 years ago, in a highly secularized society like that of Italy, people would come for confessions, and I have spent 5 to 6 hours a day in the confessional in those years. 

Don Giacomo showed it was possible. 

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