Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation

Wednesday - Before Mass
First Friday of the Month - Before Mass
Saturday 3:15 to 3:45 p.m.
Sunday - Before 10:30 a.m. Mass

Sacrament of Penance or 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.  We obtain new insight into the words of the Prayer of St. Francis: "It is in pardoning that we are pardoned." 
Penance is an experience of the gift of God's boundless mercy
 
Jesus entrusted the ministry of reconciliation to the Church.  The Sacrament of Penance is God's gift to us so that any sin committed after Baptism can be forgiven.  In confession we have the opportunity to repent and recover the grace of friendship with God. It is a holy moment in which we place ourselves in his presence and honestly acknowledge our sins, especially mortal sins.  With absolution, we are reconciled to God and the Church. The Sacrament helps us stay close to the truth that we cannot live without God. "In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). While all the Sacraments bring us an experience of the mercy that comes from Christ's dying and rising, it is the Sacrament of Reconciliation that is the unique Sacrament of mercy.
 

A Guide to Making an
EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE
and a Good Confession

Preparing for Confession

• Find a quiet place to pray and think.
• Ask the Holy Spirit in prayer to help you remember your sins.
• Use the questions below as a guide.
• Remember to include sins of omission—that is, things you should have done but did not,

Examination of Conscience

First, consider how well you have kept the Ten Commandments.

First Commandment

“I am the lord your God. ... You shall have no other gods before me. ” - Exodus 20:2-3
• Do I put other things, activities, or people before God?
• Have I spent lime with God each day in prayer?
• Do I accept all of God's leaching or just the parts I find convenient?
• Have I practiced or engaged in occult practices, such as consulting horoscopes, tarot cards, fortune telling, or “Ouija" boards?
• Have I denied my faith in any ways?
• Have I ever received Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin?

Second Commandment

“You shall not take the name of the lord your God in vain’ - Exodus 20:7
• Do I always show respect and reverence for God’s name?
• Have I used God’s name as a curse, out of anger, or in a careless way?
• Have I irreverently spoken about God or about any sacred person, place, or thing?
• Have I done my best to fulfill any promises in which I invoked God’s name (oaths)?

Third Commandment

‘‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. ” — Exodus 20:8
• Have I deliberately missed Mass on a Sunday or holy day of obligation without just cause (for example, a serious illness)?
• Do I actively and fully participate at Mass?
• Have I carelessly arrived late or left early from Mass without a serious reason?
• Have I kept the Eucharistic fast before Mass (i.e., no food or drink—except water—for one hour before receiving Holy Communion)?

The Corporal Works of Mercy

Have I neglected to do the following when circumstances obliged me?
1. Feed the hungry. 
2. Give drink to the thirsty. 
3. Clothe the naked. 
4. Shelter the homeless.
5. Visit the sick
6. Visit the imprisoned.
7. Bury the dead.

Mortal Sins Must Be Confessed

You are only obligated to confess mortal sins, although confession of venial sins is very helpful in receiving the grace to avoid sin in the future and for advancing in holinessFor a sin to be mortal, three conditions must be met (in bold): “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.” (CCC 1857; emphasis added)

Steps to a Good Confession

1. Examine your conscience.
2. Be repentant of your sins,
3. Confess your sins to the priest in number and kind, being sure to confess all mortal sins.
4. Make an act of contrition, receive absolution from the priest, and resolve to sin no more.
5. Do the penance the priest gives you.

How to Go to Confession

* Begin with the Sign of the Cross.
* Then say “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been ______days/weeks/months/years since my last confession.”
* Tell the priest your sins and how many times you committed each (to the best of your memory), beginning with any mortal sins and any sins your are particularly struggling with.
* The priest will give you some advice and assign you a penance.
* You then make the Act of Contrition.
* The priest will give you absolution and then dismiss you.

Act of Contrition
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 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, to do penance, and to avoid the near occasions of sin, Amen.