Note

Penance / Confession times can be found on the Home Page as well as the Calendar.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation:

The Sacrament of Penance is an experience of the gift of God’s boundless mercy.  Not only does it free us from our sins but it also challenges us to have the same kind of compassion and forgiveness for those who sin against us.  We are liberated to be forgivers.

— United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Contact Information:

If you are looking to have your child or yourself receive this Sacrament for the first time, please contact:

How to “GO” to Confession

The forgiveness of sins involves four parts:

  1. Contrition: a sincere sorrow for having offended God, and the most important act of the penitent. There can be no forgiveness of sin if we do not have sorrow, and a firm resolve not to repeat our sin.
  2. Confession: confronting our sins in a profound way by speaking about them — aloud— to the priest.
  3. Penance: an important part of our healing is the “penance” the priest imposes in reparation for our sins.
  4. Absolution: the priest speaks the words by which “God, the Father of Mercies” reconciles a sinner to Himself through the merits of the Cross

Rite of Reconciliation of Individual Penitents (sometimes called Form 1)

The sacrament may be celebrated face-to-face or anonymously, with a screen between you and the priest. Choose the option that is the most comfortable for you.

1. The penitent (you) and the priest begin with the sign of the Cross, saying:

“In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

2. The priest urges the penitent to have confidence in God with these or similar words:

“May the Lord be in your heart and help you to confess your sins with true sorrow.”

3. The priest may read or say a passage from Sacred Scripture after which the penitent then states:

“Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been [tell him however many days, weeks, months or years] since my last confession.”

4. The penitent then states his or her sins.

For the confession to be valid, the penitent must confess all of the mortal sins he or she is aware of having committed since the last confession, be sorry for them, and have a firm purpose of amendment to try not to

commit the same sins in the future.

5. After this, the priest will generally give some advice to the penitent and impose a penance.

6. Then he will ask the penitent to make an act of contrition. The penitent may do so in his or her own words, or may say one of many memorized acts of contrition like the following from the Rite of Penance:

Act of Contrition

“Lord Jesus, you chose to be called the friend of sinners. By your saving death and resurrection free truth.” (#90)

7. After this the priest will absolve the penitent in the following words:

“God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son, has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.”

8. The penitent makes the sign of the Cross and answers:

“Amen.”

9. The priest will then dismiss the penitent with a short prayer and encouragement.

10. The penitent should then immediately try to fulfill the penance imposed if it is something that can be done quickly.

Roman Catholics believe that the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is a graced opportunity for us to celebrate God’s forgiveness. The sacrament calls us to a true sorrow for the sins we have committed, along with an intention to repair our lives.

It is important to approach the sacrament of Reconciliation by taking some time for prayer and reflection on our lives. An examination of conscience is a tool to help us look at our lives and consider how we have been guilty of actions that separate us from God and from one another.

Ask God for the Holy Spirit’s help to examine your conscience well by prayerfully reviewing your conduct in light of the commandments and the example of Christ. Tell the priest the specific kind of sins you have committed and, to the best of your ability, how many times you have committed them since your last good confession. Avoid generalizations and inform the priest of any relevant circumstances in which your sins were committed.

Before celebrating the sacrament of Penance, each individual should reflect on these questions in particular:

1. What is my attitude toward the sacrament of Penance? Do I sincerely want to be set free from sin, to turn again to God, to begin a new life, and to enter into a deeper relationship with God?

2. Did I forget to mention, or deliberately conceal, any grave sins in past confessions?

3. Did I perform the penance I was given? Did I make reparation for any injury to others? Have I tried to put into practice my resolution to lead a better life in keeping with the Gospel?

Then, each individual should examine their life in the light of God’s word, and Jesus’ example.

For more information go to:

http://forgiven.dor.org

First Reconciliation / First Penance

Children are informed about the Sacrament of Reconciliation through the Faith Formation programs at Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick parishes in every grade level. Immediate preparation for the Sacrament is offered in the fall for any child as the child is determined ready.

Please be advised that your child must have at least 2 years of Religious Education with good attendance  before receiving Sacraments.

Grade 2 is the recommended age for First Penance .

Signs of readiness for the Sacrament include:

  • An awareness of the relationship between God and neighbor
  • A knowledge that they can harm relationship through sin, and must assume personal responsibility
  • The experience of personal sorrow for their failures and expression of the sorrow
  • The realization that they must try to change their sinful behavior
  • A free desire to receive the sacrament

In the preparation for First Reconciliation we will talk to children about how to make good decisions and follow rules that God and our families have. The children will learn how to distinguish between sins, accidents, and mistakes and practice how to make good choices in their lives.

The preparation will be followed by a family penance service where the children will have an opportunity to receive the sacrament from one of our priests.

It is our greatest hope that families will grow in their understanding of God’s love and forgiveness and in the love and forgiveness that they experience in their family.

In helping our children prepare for First Penance, please make sure they understand the following:

  1. The Sacrament of Penance, or Sacrament of Reconciliation, is “going to confessions.”  This may seem elementary, but many children miss the connection.
  2. There are different ways of receiving the Sacrament, i.e. in a Reconciliation Room (Confessional) or with a community Church, etc.  The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a single rite with three forms:
    1. Individual confession (open or with screen)
    2. Communal Reconciliation – Penitential celebration (with several penitents and individual confession)
    3. General Absolution – several penitents with general act of contrition and absolution (used in unusual circumstances)
  3. Going to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation should be a family celebration – why not join your child in receiving the Sacrament?
  4. The priest is an “interpreter” or “middle man” between God and the children.  He is God’s representative on earth.  Stress they are really talking to God and asking for His forgiveness – not the priest’s.  The priest helps them in this by asking questions, talking with them, asking them to recite their Act of Contrition and giving them penance.
  5. We should celebrate the Sacrament (go to confession) even if there is no serious sin so that we can receive God’s blessings and special help.  As in all sacraments, there is a special, personal meeting with the risen Jesus.  How often should the Sacrament be celebrated?  At least once a year.
  6. The priest is just happy they are coming to God.  There isn’t anything they could say that would shock the priest.
  7. Temptation, there mere thought of doing wrong, is not a sin.
  8. The difference between sins:
    1. Venial sin – slight offense against God and neighbor (Sacrament helpful)
    2. Serious sin – major offense against God or neighbor (still wishing to do God’s will – Sacrament necessary)
    3. Mortal sin – complete turn away from God, breaking the relationship with Him; rejection of God and his plan (Sacrament necessary)
  9. Preparing for reconciliation means thinking about our wrongs (examination of consciences).  Examine your attitudes toward God, your attitudes about yourself, your attitudes toward others – review the commandments.
  10. Receiving penance means saying we are sorry, but also that we will try to change.  If we’ve hurt someone – telling them we are sorry, too.  Stress the concept of penance being a time of reconciliation – God and Christian community, whom we have hurt.  We do not sin alone; we always involve and hurt others.
  11. Make sure they know a standard form of receiving penance and Act of Contrition, a formal way of saying, “I am sorry.”

 

First Penance Calendar

There are no upcoming First Penance classes

First Penance Photos:

 Fr. Van Lieshout teaching.

Van Lieshout teaching.

Van Lieshout teaching.

Fr. Van Lieshout teaching.