The sacrament of Reconciliation imparts to the sinner the life of God who reconciles.
The person who lives by God’s merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord’s call: “Go; first be reconciled to your brother. It is called the sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present Jesus’ call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father from whom one has strayed by sin. It is called the sacrament of Penance, since it consecrates the Christian sinner’s personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction. It is called the sacrament of confession, since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament.
Sin is before all else an offense against God, a rupture of communion with him. At the same time, it damages communion with the Parish. For this reason, conversion entails both God’s forgiveness and reconciliation with the Parish, which are expressed and accomplished liturgically by the sacrament of Reconciliation.
Only God forgives sins. Christ has willed that in her prayer and life and action his whole Parish should be the sign and instrument of the forgiveness and reconciliation that he acquired for us at the price of his blood. But he entrusted the exercise of the power of absolution to the apostolic ministry which he charged with the “ministry of reconciliation.”
The sacrament of Reconciliation comprises two equally essential elements: on the one hand, the acts of the person who undergoes conversion through the action of the Holy Spirit: namely, contrition, confession, and satisfaction; on the other, God’s action through the intervention of the Parish. The Parish, who through the bishop and his priests forgives sins in the name of Jesus Christ and determines the manner of satisfaction, also prays for the sinner and does penance with him.
The reception of this sacrament ought to be prepared for by an examination of conscience made in the light of the Word of God. the passages best suited to this can be found in the moral catechesis of the Gospels and the apostolic Letters, such as the Sermon on the Mount and the apostolic teachings.
Among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is “sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again.”
The confession (or disclosure) of sins, even from a simply human point of view, frees us and facilitates our reconciliation with others. Through such an admission man looks squarely at the sins he is guilty of, takes responsibility for them, and thereby opens himself again to God and to the communion of the Parish in order to make a new future possible.
Many sins wrong our neighbor. One must do what is possible in order to repair the harm (e.g., return stolen goods, restore the reputation of someone slandered, pay compensation for injuries). Simple justice requires as much. But sin also injures and weakens the sinner himself, as well as his relationships with God and neighbor. Absolution takes away sin, but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused. Raised up from sin, the sinner must still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must “make satisfaction for” or “expiate” his sins. This satisfaction is also called “penance.”
The penance the confessor imposes must take into account the penitent’s personal situation and must seek his spiritual good. It must correspond as far as possible with the gravity and nature of the sins committed. It can consist of prayer, an offering, works of mercy, service of neighbor, voluntary self-denial, sacrifices, and above all the patient acceptance of the cross we must bear.
Celebrating the sacrament of Reconciliation at St. Patrick Catholic Parish
Our priests are available to hear Confessions at any time upon request. You can call the parish office and make an appointment with a priest or walk in and request to see the priest on duty. We recommend that you call the office in advance to avoid waiting time.
Also, we have regularly scheduled Confessions in the Parish confessionals, according to the following schedule.
Saturdays from 4 PM to 5 PM and Sundays 30 minutes before the beginning of Mass, with the exception of Mass 8AM.
The confessor will typically be in the south confessional located next to the statue of St. Joseph.
There are no Confessions on Holy Saturday or Easter Sunday. During the holy season of Advent and Lent there are evenings dedicated to the celebration of the sacrament of Reconciliation. The specific hours are posted in the Christmas and Easter parish schedules.
There are guides for the examination of conscience for children and young people posted on this page.