Addressing the crisis of dwindling lay vocations, Fr. Donald Spenser of St. Lawrence Catholic Church anointed the Catholic Church’s first ever extraordinary ministers of reconciliation on Saturday. The newly elevated parishioners were received into this ministry after a four-hour workshop on lay pastoral healing, and receiving a special necklace identifying them as extraordinary lay people.
“It’s great that everyone has a little job to do,” said Spenser. “I just don’t have time for confession anymore with my other duties in the parish, but now I can continue my youth outreach with the traditional Hip Hop Mass on Tuesday evenings.”
“The workshop was grueling, but I get so much out of it that I don’t mind making the sacrifice,” remarked local parishioner Carol Schwartz. “I really appreciate that Fr. Spenser understands our needs as parishioners and lets us partake in our vocation to share his sacramental duties. I believe that through this ministry, God will allow me to make a gift of myself to others. At the workshop the other fourteen extraordinary ministers and I learned about our role in administering God’s healing grace, our role as Christ’s representative on Earth, and our solemn duty to not talk about anything. It’s just like Fight Club.”
The recent innovation comes after the Archdiocese began requiring at least four hours of confession per week at each parish, many of which are struggling to keep up with the challenging requirement. Several parishes have cancelled youth masses, particularly popular among the retired members of the parish, to accommodate for more confession time.
At press time, St. Lawrence Catholic Church has reportedly been plagued with long confessional lines on the minister’s side, leading some to suggest that extraordinary ministers may be required to train more extraordinary ministers in the future.