Saturday Afternoon Confessions

Father Dunn winced at the hard tap applied to his shoulder, and glanced with some annoyance at Father Parnell.

Father Parnell gestured toward the pews. “I don’t get it, Jack. Every Saturday, all the women in the parish seem to line up outside your confessional. What, are you dispensing recipes along with Hail Marys?”

“Jealous are ya, Steve?”

“I just don’t get it. I get stuck with all the kids who think they committed a mortal sin by saying ‘fuck’. Just sayin’.”

Father Dunn shrugged and smiled. “Aw, but Steve, fuck is such a powerful word, it is that.”

“Aw, kiss my ass, Jack.”

The clerics laughed, donned their stoles and went to work.

Father Dunn settled back in his cushioned seat, took a deep breath and slid open the screened window. The penitent remained silent.

“Yes, my child,” he prompted.


“That’s what they call me, dear. Goes with the job.”

“I … I haven’t been to confession in a long time.”

“Well, then, dear, I’m honored.”

“It’s just … well, I kinda drifted away from the church … you know.”

“Did ya, now?”

“But … well, see … I’m going to have a baby.”

“That’s wonderful!”

“Yes … yes, I know. And, I just started to think that … well, I want to be able to tell my little girl that … that there’s more … I don’t know … something bigger than what we see.”

“A spiritual yearning. Yes … go on, dear.”

“Well, Father, then I started to think of all the things I’ve done and … There’s one thing in particular … Oh, Father, I’ve sinned!” Her voice cracked into a sob..

“There, now, dear. Tell me all about it.”

“My husband … oh he’s a wonderful guy, Father. We love each other so much. We didn’t really want children … but then, all of a sudden, it kind of came over both of us … you know, this need to nurture.”


“Well, we never had any problem … um, making love.”

“Good … very good, so far.”

“But, Father … nothing happened … for a long time.”

“Come again?”

“I couldn’t get pregnant. It’d been almost five years, Father. So we tried seeing doctors and going to clinics. No one could figure out what the problem was. I mean, my plumbing was okay … excuse me, Father, you know what I mean.”

“I do, child, I do.”

“And, Tommy, his … well, they said he was potent enough.”

“Go on.”

“We tried everything, but nothing … nothing happened. I got really depressed, and so did Tom. After a while, we stopped … trying.”

“Aw, child, you can’t give up hope.”

“Father, we’d fallen out of love with each other. We just went through the motions, hardly ever talked. We even thought of splitting up.”

“You don’t say.”

“Yes. But, some friends of ours, Carl and Joyce, they tried to help. They invited us to a place they have on Lake Ponkapang.”

“Don’t know it.”

“Oh, well, it’s a beautiful place. Anyway, there were other couples there and everyone was having a good time.”


“Well, yes, and … well, Father, some people brought pot.”


“The thing is … Tom and I got to feeling pretty good too, and then … and then …”


“Father … and then … some of the guys, well, they got talking about who had the … sexiest wife, or girlfriend. And we girls, well, we were all feeling kind of naughty … so we decided …”


“Father, we put on a striptease … all of us … one at a time.”

“Just a tease?”

“More than a tease, Father, we all … that is, me too … we kinda … danced … naked.”

“I see.”

“Father, I was crazy … I really was. I mean, I’m not saying I wasn’t responsible for my actions, I just got so carried away and all those guys looking at me the way they were and egging me on …”

“Did any of them touch you?”

“Yes, Father, some of them. Even some of the girls.”

“Holy Mary!”

“I know, Father. I feel so dirty thinking back on it.”

“Now, dear, you must tell me the truth. Did you have relations with any other man while you were under the influence of this … euphoria?”

“Father, I have to be honest … I think I would have. But the next thing I know, Tommy’s tossed me over his shoulder and he’s carrying me into the woods at the edge of the lake.”

“Your husband.”

“Yes, and then he sets me down and he says, ‘I’ve never been turned on so much in my life … all those guys getting crazy looking at you.'”

“Yes, go on.”

She remained silent.

“You were saying, dear?”

“Father … he took me right there. I held onto a tree while he … he … oh, Father, Tommy was like a wild man.”

“I see … is there anything else?”

“Well, right afterward … well some weeks after … I found out I was pregnant.”

“I see … but you said you were troubled about some sin.”

“Father! I exposed myself to other men; I … well … I enticed them sexually … on purpose … I let people of both sexes touch me … I …”

“You had a loving encounter with your husband.”

“Huh? But isn’t it a sin …?”

“You’re carrying a child, aren’t you?”

“Well, yes …”

“Then, dear, God’s already answered that question.”

The young woman began to weep.

“There, there, child. Go in peace; the blessings of God are already upon you.”

“Thank, you, Father. Thank you so much.”

“Dominus vobiscum.”

He slid the shutter on the window, took a breath, and opened its opposite.

“Forgive me, Father, I’ve done a terrible sin.”

“Oh, and what would that be, dear?”

“I gave my husband … that is, I performed … oral sex on him.”

“Did he ask you to? He didn’t force you, did he?”

“Well, no … He’s asked before but, I thought it was sinful.”

“Is he a good man, does he work hard?”

“Oh, he does, Father, I just … I love him so much. I wanted to do something special for him.”

“Then I don’t see a problem; how long have you been married?”

“Twelve years, Father.”

“Twelve years … one blow job? Go in peace, my child.”


“God’s blessings be upon you.”

Father Dunn smiled. It almost made up for celibacy.

© 2012 Robert Buckley. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.

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