From the Pastor’s Desk: We’re Having a Confession-a-Thon!

(Great!…but what’s a Confession-a-thon?)

The S-7 Family of Parishes is having an Advent Confession-a-thon for all our parishes on Tuesday, December 13, at St. Vivian Church, from 5:00PM-8:00PM.

What’s a confession-a-thon? As I am sure some of you have already figured, a Confession-a-thon is an event with lots of confessions over lots of time. We will have the Blessed Sacrament exposed for adoration and prayer, with Advent music playing in the background in a dimly lit church, and at least two confession stations (sometimes even three or four) operating at once. All are invited to come and adore the Lord, to pray for the conversion of all sinners (including themselves!), and, if they want, to receive the Sacrament of Penance/ Reconciliation. I will be there hearing confessions (and maybe going to confession myself!). Fr. Haft and Fr. George will also be there for some of the time. We will also invite some of our regular priest helpers to hear confessions for an hour or two! The confession stations will be set up in various corners of the church, and maybe some will also be set up in nearby rooms (whatever it takes to assure privacy and to handle busy times).

So, is it just Fr. Umberg’s silly name for a penance service? No. It’s my silly name for something that is in some ways better. than a penance service. At a penance service, everyone, including the priests, shows up at a set time. There is a song, a prayer, readings, and a homily, making it so we have all committed almost half an hour before we do what we came to do. Confessions are usually heard for only half an hour or forty-five minutes, and so the penitents are told (in so many words) to make it quick. In a Confession-a-thon, the praying and the confessions begin at the same time, and last until the end. Many people are adoring, praying and meditating and several people are confessing their sins at the same time. People arrive and leave when they please, within a three-hour time frame. While it is always good to be considerate of others who might be waiting, people can take their time to confess their sins in a way that is meaningful to them. There is still some communal aspect here, in that several people are there praying while the confessions are going on, all while Advent’s greatest hits are playing the background!

Will there be other opportunities for confession at the other parishes in Advent?  Besides the many regular confession times on the weekends, those who cannot make it to the Confession-a-thon on Tuesday evening, the 13th, may attend the First Penance Service at St. Clare Church on Wednesday evening, December 14, from 7:00PM-8:30PM. Also, we will add more time and an extra priest to the regular confession time at Assumption Church in Mt. Healthy on Saturday afternoon, December 10, from 1:00PM-2:30PM.

So, come and be reconciled to the Lord and His Church. Prepare the way of the Lord!

-Fr. Umberg

From the Pastor’s Desk – My First 100 Days as Pastor of the S-7 Family

There is a tradition in business, politics, and other various institutions, of the new leader being assessed on the first 100 days of leadership. I would like to give a report on my first 100 days.

Being appointed the head of six separate institutions simultaneously, it would be more fair to wait 600 days! I am supportive of the Beacons of Light planning process. However, in our family, at this point, I am spread too thin. A new pastor normally comes in, meets everybody, learns the parish, and makes some adjustments. This is different. I am thinking of possible ways to remedy this.

The first 50 days, I only directly ministered to 3 of the 6 parishes: Assumption, St. Vivian, and St. Bartholomew. As of late August, I added St. Clare. I have celebrated many liturgies, including some funeral liturgies, and I have attended many evening meetings at these four parishes. This weekend I will celebrate my first Sunday liturgies at St. Bernard and Mother of Christ parishes.

I have arranged for the first meeting of our Beacons of Light Planning Council at the end of this month. This council is composed of members of the six parishes’ pastoral councils (two delegates from each parish). One of our tasks will be to come up with a 2023 plan for Beacons of Light for our family of parishes. Please pray for us, that we will work well and wisely together in our planning, to make this family of parishes one parish in the next five years.

Thank you for your cooperation, patience, and prayers.

-Fr. Umberg