Theology of the Sacrament of Reconciliation
The Sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as Penance or Confession) must be seen within the context of conversion from sin and a turn to God. Peter wept bitterly over his triple denial of Christ but received the grace of conversion and expressed it with a threefold confession of love for Jesus (cf. Lk 22:54-62; Jn 21:15-19). Paul was converted from persecuting Christians to becoming one of the greatest disciples of Christ who ever lived (cf. Acts 9:1-31). These moments of conversion were only the beginning of the Apostles’ lifelong commitment to living in fidelity to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Sin harms our relationship with God and damages our communion with the Church. Conversion of heart is the beginning of our journey back to God. Liturgically this happens in the Sacrament of Penance. In the history of the Church, this Sacrament has been celebrated in different ways. Beneath the changes, there have always been two essentials: the acts of the penitent and the acts of Christ through the ministry of the Church. Both go hand in hand. Conversion must involve a change of heart as well as a change of actions. Neither is possible without God’s grace.
A priest is available to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation every Thursday from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM and every Saturday from 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM before mass or by appointment through the parish office.
Preparation for reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time takes place in various age-appropriate classes.
Children are prepared for First Reconciliation beginning in the second grade in connection with their preparation for receiving First Holy Communion. Children are required to attend either our Religious Education Classes at OLS program or have been enrolled in a Catholic school for the full year prior to beginning preparation to receive the Sacrament.
In other words, for a child to receive First Reconciliation and/or First Holy Communion in second grade, they must attend religion classes (Parish Religious Education at OLS or Catholic school) in both first and second grades. Contact our Director of Religious Education for information about these classes.