Father Juan Carlos, 43
A Franciscan monk confesses about hearing confession.
Madison Street between Clark and LaSalle Streets
Ever been mistaken for a Jedi? People ask, yes. One person asked, “Are you real?” I said, “Pinch me.”
The big man’s birthday is coming. Is the commercialization of Christmas a bummer? Yeah, the commercial interests don’t care about the real Christmas. Yesterday was the start of Advent. That’s when we should’ve done the light parade.
How long have you been a monk? I was 20 when I entered the Order of Franciscan Friars Minor. I saw a need for people to reconcile first with God and then with one another. At St. Peter’s, we hear confessions Monday through Friday, 7:30 in the morning to 6pm.
St. Peter’s is near City Hall. Do politicians end up in the confessional? A lot! Yes. Many lawyers, too.
How do you decompress? I bring my guitar and I play religious songs while I preach.
Do you enjoy secular music: Judas Priest, Black Sabbath? I really like Adele. I was coming back from a trip and felt a loneliness. I heard one of her songs and it applied to my relationship with God. It hit me hard—her voice is so powerful!—and I just started crying.
Hearing confessions has to be draining. There is so much negativity I hear, sometimes I need to go walk and get distracted. Otherwise I’d go crazy. I have to remember that once a person leaves the confessional, their sins go with God, not with me. I don’t want them!