• Penance

     The Sacrament of Penance (also called “Confession” or “the Sacrament of Reconciliation”) is a great gift through which we receive the mercy, forgiveness and peace of Christ, as well as the graces we need to make changes in our life.

  • Going to Confession (How-to / Review)

    The Sacrament of Reconciliation
    The Great Sacrament of God’s Mercy
    “May the Lord Jesus welcome you. 
    He came to call sinners, not the just.  Have confidence in him.” 

    1.   Spend a brief while in preparation.  Review The Examination of Conscience steps below:

    Examination of Conscience
    I. The Lord says: “You shall love the Lord your God with your
    whole heart.”
    Do I love God above all things?
    Do I follow the commandments?
    Do I try to grow in understanding of my faith?
    Do I share my life with God in prayer?
    Do I reverence God’s name?
    Do I go to Mass on Sundays and holy days?
    Do I “worship” false gods like money, superstitions, or power?
    II.  The Lord says:  “Love one another as I have loved you.”
    Do I have genuine love for my neighbor?
    Do I contribute to the well-being and happiness of my family?
    Am I patient and genuine with others?
    Do I share what I have with those in need?
    Do I make myself aware of victims of oppression, misfortune & poverty?
    Am I a hard-working, honest, responsible employee?
    Am I truthful and fair, have I injured others with lies or rash judgment?
    Have I stolen or damaged the property of others?
    Do I use positions of authority to help and serve others?
    Have I done violence to others?
    Am I estranged from others through anger and insult?
    Do I harbor hatred or revenge or refuse to make peace?
    Do I presume goodness in others?
    Do I work towards healthy and right relationships?
    III.  Christ our Lord says:   “Be perfect as your Father is perfect.”
    Where is my life leading me?  Am I inspired by the hope of eternal life?
    Have I tried to grow in the spiritual life, through prayer,Scripture and the sacraments?
    Have I imposed my will on others without respecting their freedom?
    Have I made use of the gifts, time and health God has given me?
    Have I patiently accepted the sorrows and disappointments of life?
    2. As you enter the confessional the priest will welcome you, and you and the priest will make the Sign of the Cross out loud together (even if you can’t see one another.) 
    3. The priest may share a consoling word, reminding you how much God loves you and that God’s mercy is unlimited.
    4. The priest invites you to confess your sins:  begin by saying
          Bless me Father for I have sinned; my last confession was ___ (weeks, months or years ago) and these are my sins. (Here name your sins and how many times you committed each.) 
          You may conclude by saying I am sorry for these and all my sins, especially sins of ________.   (You may name a sin with which you have particular difficulty.)

    5. The priest will give you a penance (a sign of your resolution to do better, or something to help repair the harm caused by sin) and ask you to make an Act of Contrition:
                O my God I am heartily sorry for having offended you and I detest all my sins because of your just punishments, but most of all because I have offended you my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love.  I firmly resolve with the help of your grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin.  Amen.
    6. The priest will offer sacramental absolution (the Church’s prayer of forgiveness) and conclude with a prayer of praise and thanks.  “Go in peace.”

  • Preparation for First Penance

    “Children should be encouraged to prepare for the Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation as they near the age of seven. Celebration of First Penance is to precede the celebration of First Eucharist. Parents are to be intimately involved in preparation for a child’s first reception of the Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation.” (Policies for the Administration of the Sacraments #5.2.1, 5.2.2)

    We honor the parents’ role as their child’s primary teacher of the faith by involving them in the Sacramental Preparation process which typically takes place from February to March. Together the parent(s) and child attend a series of small group sessions to learn about and explore the beauty of this Sacrament of Healing using age-appropriate materials provided by the parish. The family also completes a variety of enrichment activities after they attend each weekend Mass. Our group of candidates then receives the Sacrament (individually) at a family-based celebration on a Saturday afternoon following the preparation process.
    If you have questions about your child’s readiness to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation or would like more information about our preparation classes, please contact Julie Bailey at the parish office at (585) 352-5481 or by email at [email protected].