Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1422)
First Reconciliation (First Confession)
Your child or youth will receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance/Confession) for the FIRST TIME in conjunction with Year 2 of their First Eucharist Program. Dates for this sacrament will be given to you during the Year 2 First Eucharist program year.
Adults receiving this sacrament for the FIRST TIME are prepared for Reconciliation through the Rite of Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.) Program.
How to make a good confession.
Confession can seem scary or hard, but it does not have to be if we prepare for it. Start with a prayer. Ask God to place you in His presence. Let our loving Father know that you are seeking His healing grace and forgiveness. Tell Him how sorry you are and that you resolve not to sin again. Next, review your life since your last confession. Search your thoughts, words and actions for that which did not conform to God’s command to love Him and one another through His laws and the laws of His Church. This is called an examination of conscience.
Examination of Conscience
CLICK HERE for an Examination of Conscience based on the Ten Commandments are provided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Examination of Conscience for Children
Responsibilities to God:
Have I prayed every day?
Have I prayed my morning prayers and night prayers?
Have I prayed with my parents and family?
Have I been moody and rebellious about praying and going to church on Sunday?
Have I asked the Holy Spirit to help me whenever I have been tempted to sin?
Have I asked the Holy Spirit to help me do what is right?
Responsibilities to others:
Have I been obedient and respectful to my parents?
Have I lied or been deceitful to them or to others?
Have I been arrogant, stubborn or rebellious?
Have I talked back to parents, teachers or other adults?
Have I pouted and been moody?
Have I been selfish toward my parents, brothers, and sisters,
teachers, or my friends and schoolmates?
Have I gotten angry at them? Have I hit anyone?
Have I held grudges or not forgiven others?
Have I treated other children with respect or have I made fun of them and called them names?
Have I used bad language?
Have I stolen anything? Have I returned it?
Have I performed my responsibilities, such as homework and household chores?
Have I been helpful and affectionate toward my family?
HaveI been kind and generous with my friends?
Copyright, Fr. Thomas Weinandy. This resource may be reproduced and distributed free of charge by permission of the author.
Rite of Reconciliation
Reconciliation may be face-to-face or anonymous, with a screen between you and the priest. Choose the option that is the most comfortable for you.
- The priest gives you a blessing or greeting. He may share a brief Scripture passage.
- Make the Sign of the Cross and say: “Bless me father, for I have sinned. My last confession was…” (give the number of weeks, months or years).
- Confess all of your sins to the priest. The priest will help you to make a good confession. If you are unsure about how to confess or you feel uneasy, just ask him to help you. Answer his questions without hiding anything out of fear or shame. Place your trust in God, a merciful Father who wants to forgive you.
- Following your confession of sins, say: “I am sorry for these and all of my sins.”
- The priest assigns you a penance and offers advice to help you be a better Catholic.
- Say an Act of Contrition, expressing your sorrow for your sins. The priest, acting in the person of Christ, then absolves you from your sins.
Act of Contrition
God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace to confess my sins, do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.