Through this sacrament, Christ offers God’s mercy to sinners. Jesus imparted to his apostles the power to forgive sins and gave them the authority to reconcile sinners to the church.
Jesus instituted the sacrament of reconciliation through his words to Simon Peter in the Gospel of Matthew, “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt. 16:19).
Jesus’ call to conversion does not stop at baptism, but continues throughout our journey of faith. The new life of faith received at baptism does not eliminate our human nature or our inclination to sin. The sacrament of reconciliation is the opportunity for Catholics who have fallen into grave sin, and have lost their baptismal grace, to receive God’s gift of mercy and forgiveness.
Other Names for the Sacrament
The richness of this sacrament is expressed in the different name Catholics use to refer to it because each name emphasizes a different aspect of the sacrament through which we are reconciled with God and his church.
- The sacrament of penance emphasizes the personal acts of prayer, fasting or almsgiving that reflects the sinner’s desire for conversion back to God. Penance is the act through which sinners make satisfaction for the harm or injury caused by their sin.
- The sacrament of confession emphasizes the disclosure of sins to a priest in an essential element of the sacrament. Calling it a confession also refers to the “confession” that the sinner makes by acknowledging and praising God for his mercy and forgiveness.
- The sacrament of forgiveness emphasizes the fact that the sinner receives forgiveness through the words of absolution spoken by the priest who, functioning in the person of Christ and his church, extends God’s mercy and forgiveness.
The sacrament of reconciliation is celebrated in our parish on Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. The sacrament is also available by appointment.
Please contact the pastor to make an appointment, or contact the parish office with any questions.