St. Paul, MN – A parishioner at St. Agnes Catholic Church started speed walking to the confession line Saturday afternoon upon seeing the O’Malley family arrive in their 15-passenger van on the other side of the parking lot.
“It’s inspiring to see a good, solid Catholic family living their faith together,” he told ChurchPOP as he took a short cut through the church’s shrubs. “But if those parents with their eleven kids get in the confession line before me, that’s at least another hour of waiting in line, if not longer.”
Although he was out of his car before them, he explained he better get moving because “their 11-year-old Athanasius usually runs ahead and saves a spot for the rest of the family,” a practice he said he thought was “kind of cheap, but what can you do.”
The parishioner admitted that confessions had started an hour earlier, but that he liked to arrive in the latter half of the scheduled time. “Just as the initial lines have thinned out,” he proudly explained, “but with enough time to make sure I still get in.”
But he didn’t take into the possibility of getting stuck behind the O’Malley family today. “What are they doing here?! They almost always go to confession before the 6:15 am daily mass on Tuesdays.” He then recalled the priest had been out of town on Tuesday.
When the parishioner entered the back of the sanctuary, he saw that Athanasius O’Malley had just entered through a side door and was getting close to the end of the confession line. Although the parishioner walked as quickly as he felt he appropriately could, the 11-year-old beat him to it.
At press time, the parishioner was still bargaining with the child to let him cut in line. But the child’s 7-, 9-, 13-, and 14-year-old brothers had arrived before the deal was closed, with their parents and six more children close behind, making any deal less likely.
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