At the beginning of the year, I wrote two blog posts about an experience seeking reconciliation at the cathedral in my archdiocese. A few months later, I read an article where Pope Francis seemed to specifically address my post on confession head-on.
Thank you Shalom World for publishing my reversion story back to the Catholic Church, “Coming Back Home” in your latest issue of Shalom Tidings Magazine, February/March 2017.
COMING BACK HOME
By Billy Gillespie
Life was good. Or so I thought. I was living in New York City on the upper Westside with my new bride, and working as an actor. Maybe you have seen one of my award winning performances: Dunking my face into a bowl of baked beans, singing into a chunk of Velveeta cheese, talking with a mouth full of cookies, or maybe as the bright neon orange and green live version the very popular toy at the time, “Big Frank.” As well as in film, TV shows, theatre, and something very dear to me, Third Rail Comedy, the sketch comedy group I was a founding member of. One of our reviews at the time said we were “rude, crude and lewd.” We considered that a badge of honor. I was auditioning or filming during the day and performing sketch comedy in clubs at night. Yes, life was good. But let me back up a bit.
After everyone slowly made their way out, in silence, I sat alone in the reconciliation chapel of the Cathedral unable to move. Sitting in that uncomfortable wooden chair, the back of my head leaning against the thick cement wall, I felt isolated and removed from all existence.
Our Cathedral offers weekday confession one hour before Mass, which I take advantage of from time to time. Outside the confessional, there are twelve rather uncomfortable wooden chairs on which to wait. Like some sort of pre-penance I suppose. On this particular day, all chairs were occupied with a few people standing, forming a line at the end. As I took up my position at the end of the line,