The right side of the confessional

Father Blair Raum (CR File Photo)

This little anecdote has been sitting in my notebook since March 17, so it’s about time I shared it with you. It comes from a story recounted by Redemptorist Father John Murray during his St. Patty’s Day homily at St. Patrick in Fells Point.

Father Murray remembered that not long after St. Patrick Church suffered a devastating fire in 1983 and was later restored, a parishioner who had been away from the church for a long time returned to the historic Broadway parish. He had heard about St. Patrick’s reopening, Father Murray said, and wanted to confess his sins and get back on a spiritual track.

The man came early to Mass one day and headed straight for the confessional. He opened the confessional door and sat down in a large easy chair. Beside the chair was a bottle of Jameson whiskey and on the left was a small television designated for Orioles and Colts games. He closed the door and waited for a priest.

That’s when the now-deceased Father Blair Raum, then the pastor, opened the door and saw the man sitting in the cushy chair.

“Get out!” Father Raum said. “That’s my side!”

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Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.