What is it?

It is one of the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church in which sins are forgiven. It involves three elements: confession, penance, and reconciliation. In confession, the penitent makes a verbal admission of his/her sins. Afterwards, the priest absolves the penitent’s sins and asks him/her to perform an act of reparation or penance for the sin committed. Finally, the penitent is reconciled with God and the church.

Why is Confession important?

It’s no exaggeration to say that we are all sinners. At it’s core, sin damages our relationship with God, with others, and with ourselves. With a good confession, this damage can be repaired by God’s infinite love and forgiveness. Not only that, but through this Sacrament, we receive the grace to resist sin and we learn humility by having to confess our mistakes to another person. In addition, confession better prepares us to receive the Holy Eucharist! 

Where did this Sacrament come from?

The origin of Confession can be traced back to the New Testament. In Matthew 3:2, John the Baptist shouts, “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” Jesus Christ continued to spread this message by forgiving the sins of people He encountered. Recall the woman who was caught in the act of adultery (John 8). After saving her from being stoned, Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin any more” (John 8:11). Even after Jesus’ Resurrection, He told the Apostles to preach repentance for the forgiveness of sins in His name to all the nations (Luke 24:47).

How do I make a good Confession?

A good Confession is humble, sincere, and complete. In order to be humble, we must be willing to accuse ourselves of sin with deep sorrow for hurting our Lord (perfect contrition). To be sincere, we must tell all of our sins honestly without exaggerating or excusing them. To be complete, we must confess all of our sins, including the number of times we committed each one.

How should I prepare for Confession?

Before entering the confessional, it’s a good idea to prayerfully examine your conscience. Some review their behavior by the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, or by the Seven Deadly Sins. However, we shouldn’t only focus on how we broke God’s “rules,” but also on how we have damaged our relationship with God and others and how we hurt ourselves. The Internet has many excellent resources for examining one’s conscience. Here is a great one to help you get started:

Examination of Conscience

There are also some great resources available on our Parish App.  Click here to download the app.

Why do I have to confess my sins to a priest?

It’s true that only God has the power to forgive sins; however, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit upon His apostles, giving them God’s power to forgive sins. He told them that whatever sins they forgive are forgiven and whatever sins they retain are retained (Jn 20:21-23; Mk 2:7). Since the apostles were unable to read minds, the only way they would know which to forgive and which to retain is if people told them their sins. Jesus thus established the essential structure of the sacrament of confession. Just as He uses priests to give us His Body and Blood at Mass so He uses them to give us His mercy in Penance.

How often should I go to Confession?

As Catholics, we have a duty to receive this Sacrament at least once a year. If you have committed a mortal sin, it is important that you get to Confession right away! Once a month is recommended to grow in holiness.

When can I go to Confession?

Anytime! We offer Confession every Saturday from 3:30pm – 4:00pm or by appointment. During Advent and Lent, we offer penance services as well.  You may also call the Parish Office at 303-455-0447 to schedule an appointment.