By Rohan Andresen ’12
Twice a week, Brophy Jesuit Fr. Harry Olivier, S.J. sits in the Chapel, waiting for people to come and confess their sins.
Confessions are open every Monday and Wednesday at 7 a.m. in the chapel.
One or two students come in each day to tell Fr. Olivier what they have done wrong and what is on their mind. He said the students tend to have some regularity and that many of the same come continuously, although there is a good mix.
“It is our basic human need to make amends or to reconcile with ourselves or with others or with God; I think that if we deny that of ourselves that we are missing something,” said Assistant Principal for Ministry Mrs. Kim Baldwin.
Fr. Olivier, who has been a priest for 52 years and a Jesuit for 65, said the students leave from confession feeling happier and more fulfilled since confessing their sins.
The Brophy morning confession is readily available to students, whereas many local parishes cannot afford to have the necessary personnel on hand Saturday afternoons or evenings.
Fr. Olivier said students who are not Catholic still attend confession, and it is a good opportunity for non-Catholic students to talk about something that’s on their mind. Mrs. Baldwin agreed.
“Just the fact that you get to take a minute and sit down and reflect quietly on our life, we all should be doing that regularly…and to particularly focus on the areas of our life where we know that we aren’t doing what we should be doing, or that we should try a little harder, or we could work on a relationship that we have been running from,” Mrs. Baldwin said.
Fr. Olivier said attendance at confession is not what it used to be.
“People used to go to confession much more frequently in the past. I think the turnaround came about the time of the Vatican Council in the 60s,” he said.