Penance or Confession

Jesus shocked His Jewish people when he, a human being, forgave the sins of the paralytic lowered down by his friends through the roof of a house (Mark 2:1-12).  The scribes asked, “Why does this man speak like this?  It is blasphemy!  Who can forgive sins but God alone?”  Jesus replied to them [the scribes], “’But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—he said to paralytic—‘I say to you take up your pallet and walk’”.

fter His resurrection, passed His power to forgive sins to his Apostles, instituting the sacrament of penance: “’As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, be breather on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’”.

Confessing your sins to the priest confers special blessings from God to help you overcome sin in your life and heal from past hurts.  To progress in the spiritual life, the Church recommends that we examine our conscience each day, which takes only a few minutes.  Follow this link to learn more:  The Daily Examen.

The Catholic Church also teaches that to advance in the spiritual life, we must not only follow our conscience but also educate our conscience so we actually understand what is right and what is wrong.  Follow this link for alternative guides to a Catholic examination of conscience.  If you are still uncertain, then you can ask a priest, even in the confessional.

Many of us suffer from “hidden faults” which are ways of thinking, feeling and acting that have become so ingrained that we are truly unaware of them.  One way to become aware of these “hidden faults” is to ask those closest to us (family, friends or co-workers) to give us feedback:  “How might I improve as a person, especially in how I treat others?”  If you do this, you may have to ask, wait, ask again, and wait.  Afterwards, be sure to thank the person for the help.

Our parish offers the sacrament of confession for 30 minutes before every Sunday mass in the St. Agatha – St. James Church.   You may also ask the priest for an opportunity to confess your sins immediately after any of the weekday masses at the Newman Center.  Do not worry if has been some time since you have been to confession and you don’t exactly remember how.  Let the priest know and he will help you.  Alternatively, follow this link for a refresher on how to go to confession.

We recommend that you find a regular schedule for confession.  Many Catholic devotions incorporate monthly confession, such as the popular First Fridays devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Confession is good for advancing in the spiritual life even if there are only minor faults to confess.  To remain a Catholic in good standing the Church requires confession only once a year.

Sacrament of Reconciliation
Confessions will be heard thirty (30) minutes before each Sunday Mass. 
From 8:30 - 9:00AM before the 9:00AM Sunday Mass
From 11:00 - 11:30AM before the 11:30AM Sunday Mass
From 5:00 - 5:30PM before the 5:30PM Sunday Mass
From 8:30 - 9:00PM before the 9:00PM Sunday Mass

You may also request Confession from one of the priests following the 12:05PM daily Mass