To register for the 1st Communion/Reconciliation program:
- You/your family must be a parishioner(s); if you are not, you can always register at the front office of the parish community.
- Your child is enrolled in our parish religious education program.
- Your child is in the 2nd grade or higher or at least 7 years old.
- Registration is available through the office to register your child.
Sessions usually run on a Sunday afternoon in the spring- please ask for the dates and times when you register your child for the sacramental program.
The Cost of the program is $25 for both Reconciliation and 1st Holy Communion and you can pay it when you register your child for our Religious Education Program at the same time.
How to Make a Good Confession
Confession is not difficult, but it does require preparation. We should begin with prayer, placing ourselves in the presence of God, our loving Father. We seek healing and forgiveness through repentance and a resolve to sin no more. Then we review our lives since our last confession, searching our 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.
To make an examination of conscience:
- Begin with a prayer asking for God’s help.
- Review your life with the help of some questions, which are based on the 10 Commandments (see below).
- Tell God how truly sorry you are for your sins.
- Make a firm resolution not to sin again.
Examination of Conscience
Recall your sins. Prayerfully ask yourself what you have done with full knowledge and full consent against God’s and the Church’s commandments.
- Do I pray to God every day? Have I thanked God for His gifts to me?
- Did I put my faith in danger through readings contrary to Catholic teachings or involvement in non-Catholic sects? Did I engage in superstitious practices: palm-reading or fortune-telling?
- Did I take the name of God in vain? Did I curse or take a false oath?
- Did I miss Mass on Sundays or holy days of obligation through my own fault? Am I attentive at Mass? Did I keep fast and abstinence on the prescribed days?
- Did I disobey my parents and lawful superiors in important matters?
- Did I hate or quarrel with anyone, or desire revenge? Did I refuse to forgive? Was I disrespectful?
- Did I get drunk? Did I take illicit drugs?
- Did I willfully look at pornography, entertain impure thoughts or engage in impure conversations or actions? Did I use artificial means to prevent conception?
- Was I unfaithful to my spouse? Did I engage in sexual activity outside of marriage?
- Did I steal or damage another’s property? Have I been honest and just in my business relations?
- Have I been responsive to the needs of the poor and respected the dignity of others?
- Did I tell lies? Did I sin by calumny, or detraction, of others? Did I judge others rashly in serious matters?
- Have I envied other people?
Sample Examinations of Conscience:
- According to the 10 Commandments
- For Married Couples
- For Single People
- For Young Adults
- For Children
What’s the difference between Confession and Reconciliation?
Confession, one aspect of the Sacrament of Reconciliation which used to receive the greatest emphasis, is now seen as just one step in the total process. Confession of sin can only be sincere if it is preceded by the process of conversion. It is actually the external expression of the interior transformation that conversion has brought about in us. It is a much less significant aspect of the sacrament than we made it out to be in the past. This does not mean that confession is unimportant-only that it is not the essence of the sacrament.
Look at the parable of the Prodigal Son. The father, seeing his son in the distance, runs out to meet him with an embrace and a kiss. Through one loving gesture, the father forgives the son-and the son hasn’t even made his confession yet! When he does, it seems the father hardly listens. The confession is not the most important thing here; the important thing is that his son has returned. The son need not beg for forgiveness, he has been forgiven. This is the glorious Good News: God’s forgiveness, like God’s love, doesn’t stop. In this parable, Jesus reveals to us a loving God who simply cannot not forgive!
Of course the new Rite does concern itself with the confession of sins. But one’s sinfulness is not always the same as one’s sins. And, as a sacrament of healing, Reconciliation addresses the disease (sinfulness) rather than the symptoms (sins). So, the sacrament calls us to more than prepared speeches or lists of sins. We are challenged to search deep into our heart of hearts to discover the struggles, value conflicts and ambiguities (the disease) which cause the sinful acts (the symptoms) to appear.
Celebration is a word we haven’t often associated with the Sacrament of Reconciliation. But in Jesus’ parable, it is obviously important and imperative. “Quick!” says the father. “Let us celebrate.” And why? Because a sinner has converted, repented, confessed and returned.
Why do Catholics confess their sins to a priest?
Out of his great love, Jesus instituted this sacrament through which a sinner, who is sorry, receives pardon and peace and is restored to the fullness of grace with God.
Confession is a very intimate experience. Even in a communal reconciliation service that you might attend during Advent, Lent or a retreat, individual confessions are private.
The Catholic Church maintains, however, that there is also a social aspect to sin. Sin not only affects our relationship with God, sin also alienates us from other people and the Church.
In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Jesus provides us with a way of being reconciled to God and to those we’ve hurt, and to be strengthened in our connection to God’s entire family. This is more than symbolic; it is spiritual reality expressed through ritual.
Human beings need rituals and ceremonies to celebrate the important moments in life.