Every third Friday of the month, it was required that all fourth graders at St Johns Elementary go to confession. We had to go into a dark booth where a priest would slide back a small door, hear our sins, and give us our penance.
You had to have your sins ready before you went in.
One visit I didn’t have them ready, so I made some up.
“Father, I was looking up Katy Snoots’ dress, I jabbed a pencil in the teacher’s rear end, and I waited for a quiet moment in class and farted.”
The penance was quite tough: thirty Hail Marys, thirty Our Fathers.
To leave the church without saying these prayers was a mortal sin. Getting close to the last prayer I had a tremendous urge to pee. I was the only one kneeling at the altar and not wanting to wet my pants, I pulled down my zipper and let it go. A puddle formed at the feet of a statue of Mother Mary. This sin was never confessed.
One day I may enter the fiery gates of hell.