What to do if you have missed some sacraments

1 min read
Msgr. James McNamara hears a young girl's confession at Holy Cross Church in Nesconset, N.Y. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island Catholic)

Question: My daughter is 12 years old and has not received the Eucharist but was baptized as an infant. Recently, I found out that she watched a porn video on the internet. I feel so sad. I want to find out if she can go to confession even though she has not started receiving Communion.

Name, location withheld

Answer: Yes, she can go to confession. However, it is best to have a discussion with your pastor who may wish to be sure she is prepared for her first confession. You do not give the reason she has not already received first Confession and first holy Communion, but this, too, is something your local pastor should know so as to be sure she is prepared for them.

Some parishes have special programs to prepare children who may have missed a sacrament. In other cases, the pastor can personally give instruction or ask a catechist to do so. Since the sin you described is objectively a serious one, getting her to confession sooner rather than later is likely a good idea. Nevertheless, a local priest or pastor should be consulted so as to properly and pastorally address her need and readiness for confession and holy Communion. It is sad how many youngsters are so easily exposed to sinful things these days.

Msgr. Charles Pope

Msgr. Charles Pope is the pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian in Washington, D.C., and writes for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. at blog.adw.org. Send questions to msgrpope@osv.com.