“Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1422)
The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, also called the Sacrament of Confession, is the sacrament in which you are forgiven of all of the sins you have committed since the last time you made a good confession. Even though it goes by different names, each highlighting a different aspect, it is one sacrament. The Catholic goes before the priest, who stands in the person of Christ, who is a merciful and loving judge who desires both to acknowledge the sins we have committed and forgive them by washing them with his Precious Blood.
In order to prepare for this sacrament, it is important to make a good examination of conscience in order that you can be assisted in remembering your sins so that your confession may be as complete as possible. Here are a couple of examinations that you might want to look at:
Even if it has been a while since you have been to the sacrament, go in and be honest with the priest. He will assist you with the practical ‘how to get through confession’ details. Your job is to be open and honest with him so that our Lord is able to work as fully on your soul as he wants to. So long as you are completely honest, you confess everything that you can remember, and you truly desire to amend your life, you will find confession truly freeing, because unlike anything else, through confession we are truly forgiven.
Regularly scheduled individual Penance is each Saturday from 2:30-3:30 pm, and each Wednesday at 7:30 pm. Communal Penance services are held during Lent and Advent. One may also approach any of the priests to receive the sacrament of Penance. Please consult the bulletin regarding additional opportunities for the reception of this sacrament.
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you,
and I detest all of my sins,
because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell,
but most of all because they offend you, my God,
who are all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace,
to confess my sins, to do penance,
and to amend my life.