By Barb Arland-Fye
Seated in a back pew on a Sunday morning after Mass, I observed second-graders preparing to receive the sacrament of penance and reconciliation for the first time.
Also in attendance at Our Lady of the River Church in LeClaire were the second-graders’ parents, and ninth-grade students preparing to receive the sacrament of confirmation. I was taking notes for my graduate classes.
Some of the second-graders’ faces registered looks of apprehension mingled with anticipation as they approached the confessional where they would confess their sins to the pastor, Father Joe Wolf, and receive absolution. Parents accompanied their children to the door of the confessional, which seemed to give the kids much reassurance.
But the parents did something more profound: most of them also received the sacrament of reconciliation, immediately before or after their child. Those parents gave powerful witness to the importance of an encounter with Christ through the sacrament.
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