Sacraments of Penance

The Sacrament of Penance [Spiritual and Emotional Healing]

1. Pre-Requisites

 A. The person should have already made the Sacrament of Reconciliation or

B. The person should have done an examination of conscience prior to going to

inform the priest when he/she goes to confession.  It is perfectly fine to bring in a written reminder of one’s sins.  In

the examination of conscience one should look for;

– Any particular sinful actions, that is doing something wrong, when you

already know its wrong and desire what was bad or evil

– Any particular patterns of sin.  These are bad actions that you keep

repeating.  Note the different ways you have already attempted to stop

these bad patterns

– Any thing that you should do but failed to do [Sins of Omission].  For

– Any time you purposely did not avoid situations of temptation knowing

instance when someone has asked for help and you turned them down

without any good reason or prior commitment.

that you were too weak to resist.  Why do you not avoid them?  What

have you done to improve your resistance to temptation?

C. The person should avoid certain discussions that have nothing to do with the

Sacrament of Penance or have to do with other people’s penance:

– The Sacrament is not time for personal counseling.  This should be done at

– Please do not discuss other people’s sins, only your own

– If it is a bit of advice needed to address a sin relating to another person, it

a time when you have set an appointment with the priest or deacon.

is best to contact the priest or deacon outside the confessional so as not

to have problems with the seal of confession

2. Availability of the Sacrament of Penance and Requirement for The Sacrament

A. The Sacrament of Penance is normally available from 4:00 – 4:45 PM, prior to

the 5 PM Mass on Saturday afternoon.

B. The Sacrament of Penance is available at the Church office on the second

Tuesday of each month from 5:00 – 7:00 PM.  Please call to check for sure.  At

times this must be moved due to circumstances beyond our control.

C. The Sacrament of Penance is available during Penance Services scheduled

during Advent and Lent.  The parish also puts out a listing of all Penance

Services in the Deanery available during these Penitential seasons.

D. The Sacrament of Penance is available by appointment at the office when

agreed upon by the pastor

E. The Sacrament of Penance is available as part of the Sacrament of Anointing of

the Sick for the sick person and, if time available, for others.

F. One should confess one’s sins at least every 3 months [This is once a quarter].

But if there are Mortal Sins, [deep serious sins], one should confess as soon

after as they occur.

G. There is a mistaken notion that the Penance Services scheduled during the

Penitential Seasons replace the normal period of confessions.  This is not true.

These are given to aid people to prepare for Christmas and Easter but one

should confess one’s sins at least 2 other times during the year or when

necessary according to his/her state of grace.

H. The Church teaches that one may receive communion if, through no fault of

their own, they have attempted to confess their sins and were not able to [i.e.

too many people in line and Father needs to start Mass] if they make the effort

to confess their sins at the very next scheduled time or make an appointment.

One does not incur additional sin.  This does not mean that someone should

plan to arrive 5 minutes before the ending time of confession in order to be

granted this reprieve.