Msgr. Stephen DiGiovanni is getting a lot of buzz since the New York Times talked up his success in promoting the sacrament of penance. When he arrived at his assignment, the confessionals had fallen into use and had been re-purposed. In a (probably unintentionally) allegorical line, the Times reporter noted that “The confessional in the front, nearer the altar, was filled with air-conditioning equipment.” Now, he and his assistants at St. John the Evangelist in Stamford, Connecticut hear an average of 450 confessions a week. Msgr. DiGiovanni has even gained the supreme confirmation that he is doing good in this world: the expressed horror of Father Dick McBrien.
Readers of this blog expected no less from the pastor. Msgr. DiGiovanni is the founder of the Saint Monica Institute for Patristic Studies, which encourages serious study of the Fathers among Catholic lay people. Check out the Institute’s many discussion groups and programs.