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!”

Catholic Review

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