Is there an unforgivable sin? The Catechism would tell us it’s the sin against the Spirit. The Church would also tell us that if you’re worried that you committed that sin, the answer is no. So if you’re worried about your sins, it means you’re concerned about being open to receiving God’s love and mercy. He wants us to come to him and, if we do come to him and turn to his mercy, he will forgive us.
I’m Br. Steven Kropp. I am a Capuchin Franciscan priest brother and I’m the director of the Solanus Casey Center where we are right now here in Detroit. Our brothers moved here in 1882 to found St. Bonaventure Monastery and our public chapel. It’s really just in the past few years since Solanus’s beatification that we’ve been seeing a larger than normal numbers continuously coming to celebrate the Sacrament. Now we’re very pleased to offer six days a week, Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. there is always at least one brother available to hear Confessions. In the year 2022 we had almost 25,000 Confessions that were heard. If you average it out it’s something like just over 2,000 people a month who come to celebrate the Sacrament here. Solanus really gives us the constant example of one who goes to God seeking his mercy and trusting that God will provide, not only mercy, but every other grace that he needed for his life.
Of course God is working in the life of a penitent. What often surprises me is how God is at work in my own life as a minister of the Sacrament. I think of times when maybe I’m really busy, or really tired, and thinking, “Well I can get through this quickly,” and then God sends in, right at the right time, the right person, who comes really seeking and needing and desiring in a very deep way to experience in a profound way the mercy of God. And it wakes me up to my own reality to say, “You know this is really what I’m here for. I’m not here for the 10 other things I may have to get done today.”
We’re just in a unique place here at St. Bonaventure Monastery where people can feel the freedom to come here, to feel comfort and assurance, to be fairly anonymous, oftentimes. And they can come as much as they like and celebrate the Sacrament and really feel strongly in their hearts the mercy and love of God.