The Sacrament of Reconciliation

The Church recognizes the importance of a personal relationship in our desire to receive forgiveness for our sins. Meeting a priest in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) allows us to express our sorrow and to receive counsel about our life in the faith and desire to follow Christ.

Priests are available in the Reconciliation Chapel in the southwest corner of the church, Saturdays 3:45- 4:45 PM.

Reconciliation may also be available by appointment. Communal services are held during Advent and Lent at times announced in the bulletin.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Sacrament of Reconciliation

What is the name of this sacrament?

It is most often called the Sacrament of Reconciliation but sometimes called Confession or Penance.

How often must I receive the Sacrament?

A frequent reception of the Sacrament is recommended for all. After reaching the age of discretion, commonly accepted to be seven years of age, the faithful are to confess serious sins at least once a year.

What sins must I confess?

Serious sins must be confessed in number and kind. It is recommended that venial sins also be confessed. 

Do I use the confessional or may I confess face to face with the priest?

The penitent has the option to use a confessional, which may be a reconciliation chapel or room, allowing one to kneel at a fixed grill or to meet the priest face-to-face. Confessions may be heard outside a confessional for a just cause. 

What about the “Act of Contrition”?

After confessing his or her sins, the priest asks the penitent to express sorrow. This may be done in one of the traditional forms, in the penitent’s own words, or in other forms including these prayers from scripture or tradition:

Psalm 51:4-5

Wash me from my guilt and cleanse me from my sin. I acknowledge my offense; my sin is before me always.

Luke 15:18; 18 13

Father, I have sinned against you and am no longer worthy to be called your son. Be merciful to me, a sinner.

The “Jesus Prayer”. Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

I haven’t been to confession in a long time, how will I know what to do?

The rites are outlined above, but let the confessor be your guide. His ministry is that of Christ. His task is reconciliation. He is most concerned with helping you experience the graces of the sacrament, not how well you remember the rite. In a communal celebration there are always programs to help the assembly. In addition, the presider will give instructions at various points during the service.

Why is it that communal celebrations of the sacrament of penance seem to differ from parish to parish?

“It is for priests, and especially parish priests (pastors):

  1. in celebrating reconciliation with individuals or with a community, to adapt the rite to the concrete circumstances of the penitents. They must preserve the essential structure and the entire form of absolution, but if necessary they may omit some parts of the rite for pastoral reasons or enlarge upon them, may select the texts of readings or prayers, and may choose a place more suitable for the celebration according to the regulations of the conference of bishops, so that the entire celebration may be enriching and effective;
  2. to celebrate and prepare occasional penitential services during the year especially in Lent. In order that the texts chosen and the order of celebration may be adapted to the conditions and circumstances of the community or group (for example, children, sick persons, etc.), priests may be assisted by others, including the laity.”

Reconciliation Days & Times:

3:45 PM - 4:45 PM
Copyright St. Ignatius 2016
Website by Trevor Goss