Don Bosco the Catechist, Pt. IX: Centrality of Confession

SYM Corner 09.28.22

By Fr. Louis Molinelli, SDB, Province Delegate of Youth Ministry

St. John Bosco made his catechetical method center around the two Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. He was zealous in promoting the reception of these two sacraments. In this article, let us look at the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Don Bosco realized that his boys had to face up tough life situations and make radical choices in choosing Christ amid the nineteenth century world in which they lived. Thus, Don Bosco’s lessons in the faith were demanding and challenging to meet these needs. He spoke directly about salvation, and of a happy or unhappy eternity depending on how the young lived their lives. Don Bosco held up for the young holiness in a courageous way. As a wrong choice can set us on the path to our demise, even more so for the young, who are exuberant and inexperienced. Young people have the need to experience the forgiveness of God frequently so that they can come back into communion with God. His goal was to always remind the young of God’s love for them and their duty to show their love in return by living holy lives. Listen to Don Bosco’s words: "That laziness which you sometimes feel, that uncertainty about going to Confession, that putting off from day to day are so many temptations of the devil. Knowing how powerful and efficacious frequent Confession is in overcoming our defects, the devil uses every trick he knows to keep you away from it" (Life of Francis Besucco).

Beginning the young on the road to holiness begins with an invitation and a personal commitment to conversion by making good Confessions based on sorrow and firm resolutions. St. John Bosco gave himself completely to his boys as their Father Confessor and he demanded them to give all in return. For Don Bosco, hope, mercy, and Confession were synonymous. For a young person to grow into a faithful and joyful servant of God, he/she must develop that sereneness of spirit and calm amid the world that can only come about through Confession. We need to reclaim this in our youth ministry and catechesis of the young. We need to help the young to know that God loves them and desires nothing more than their eternal happiness. Developing a sound catechesis on Confession will set the stage for this young generation to be honest citizens and upright Christians.

September 28, 2022 - 8:30am
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