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Reconcilation, Confession, Penance

The purpose of this sacrament is reconciliation. We do this through confession of sins, expressing our sincere contrition and making amends by means of fulifilling the penance given by the priest after he prays the absolution over the penitent. That's why you will hear people use three different names for this one sacrament: Reconciliation, Confession, Penance

Our priests are normally available for confession in the two confessionals inside our church at these times:

  • Monday 5pm- 6pm
  • Saturday 2:30pm - 4pm

The above times may not be valid on office holidays or special weeks. See our current bulletin for current information.

  • Confession by appointment - please call our parish office during regular hours to schedule confession time with one of our priests if none of the regularly scheduled confession times works for you or if you are ill or disabled and homebound.

In addition, we have seasonal communal services. These include a short scripture service followed by individual private confession. We always bring in extra priests to help us with these, so that there are about 6-8 priests from whom you can choose. This is ideal during Advent and Lent to assist the larger crowds. 

  • Advent Communal Reconciliation Service
  • Lent Communal Reconciliation Service
  • Children's First Reconciliation Communal Service
  • Holy Week Reconciliation

There are four steps in the Sacrament of Reconciliation:

  1. We feel contrition for our sins and a conversion of heart to change our ways.
  2. We confess our sins and human sinfulness to a priest.
  3. We receive and accept forgiveness (absolution) and are absolved of our sins.
  4. We celebrate God’s everlasting love for us and commit to live out a Christian life.

Sin hurts our relationship with God, ourselves and others. As the Catechism states:

The sinner wounds God’s honor and love, his own human dignity…and the spiritual well-being of the Church, of which each Christian ought to be a living stone. To the eyes of faith no evil is graver than sin and nothing has worse consequences for the sinners themselves, for the Church, and for the whole world. (CCC 1487, 1488)

A mature understanding of sin includes reflecting upon our thoughts, actions and omissions as well as examining the patterns of sin that may arise in our lives. With contrite hearts, we are also called to reflect upon the effects of our sins upon the wider community and how we might participate in sinful systems.

Contrition and conversion lead us to seek a forgiveness for our sins so as to repair damaged relationships with God, self, and others. We believe that only ordained priests have the faculty of absolving sins from the authority of the Church in the name of Jesus Christ (CCC 1495). Our sins are forgiven by God, through the priest.

The Spiritual effects of the Sacraments of Reconciliation include:

  • reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace
  • reconciliation with the Church
  • remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins
  • remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin
  • peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation
  • an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle (CCC 1496)

Individual confession with a priest is the principal means of absolution and reconciliation of grave sins within the Church. The Sacrament of Reconciliation frees us from sinful patterns of behavior and calls us to complete conversion to Christ. Reconciliation heals our sins and repairs our relationships.


Sacramental confession is a response to our Lord’s great love and mercy for us, and it’s for us to return back to full communion with Him when we have lost that communion through mortal sin, but it is not only for returning to Holy Communion after a mortal sin. It’s a sacrament of love. Confessing one’s sins is also a way to deal with venial sins and the ordinary struggles of day-to-day life.

Venial sins are forgiven when we are truly sorry for our sins and beg for God's mercy in the Penitential Act which is at the beginning of Mass, but we can also go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation for venial sins during which we can ask the priest confessor for advice to tackle venial sins.

In the case of mortal sins (grave sins) we must make an integral confession in the sacrament of Reconciliation. Mortal sins cannot be absolved by attending Mass. These must be aboslved in the sacrmaent BEFORE returning to Holy Communion. If you have questions about this, ask a priest or catechist to explain it to you.

Preparing for reconciliation, the faithful are faced with the eye
-opening task of taking an inventory of their lives. The Catholic Church proposes monthly confession, but minimally every Catholic is required to go to confession and Holy Communion at least once a year between the first Sunday of Lent and Trinity Sunday. Most parishes, like our own, also provide communal Penance/Reconciliation services during the penitential seasons of Advent and Lent at which several additional priests are available to serve the crowd of parishioners for their individual confessions. Additional times are provided during Holy Week. Go back to the top of the page to see the normal times.

Find out more about The Catechism of the Catholic Church



This is the Sacrament in which sins committed after Baptism are forgiven. It results in reconciliation with God and the Church. (US Catholic Catechism for Adults, Glossary)

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