The sacraments of Penance and of the Anointing of the Sick are Sacraments of Healing. Penance is for the healing of the soul through the forgiveness of sin.
Penance, or reconciliation, as it is often called, allows humans who have fallen out of grace or turned away from God’s love to re-unite with Him. God gave us His only son, who died because of our sins. In this act alone, we see the extreme depth of God’s love for us.
Recognising our faults or sins is the first step. Saying we are sorry to him is the second step. The priest represents Jesus and it is to Jesus that we confess our sins.
Sin is an offence against God, a rupture of communion with him. We sin by action or omission, in what we say or think.
Reconciliations are available after Thursday and Friday 9am Masses
Penance for Children
Though not officially a sacrament of initiation (Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation are the three sacraments of initiation), the children who are in level two will be instructed and given the necessary knowledge for them to celebrate this sacrament.
The children, after having completed the first level of Faith First, will now join the other children wishing to celebrate First Communion for classes in the second level training.
This process is usually practiced on the church grounds with catechists who give of their time, talent and effort to help the children along on their journey to understanding the sacraments that level two offers.
The Faith Education Office is best suited to give you all necessary information for your child to register and be ready to go through the enjoyable and enlightening process. We parents are the first educators of our children and therefore are not excluded from the process.
You might want to consider helping out as a catechist or helper in one of the classes. Many parents have given their time talent and effort only to find that they got more out of the program than they ever expected. They got to know the many volunteers, they made new friends, their knowledge of Church and who is Church gained a deeper understanding and the sense of community that was fostered became an extra pleasing bonus.
Why do we have to confess our sins to a priest? Can't we just pray to God for forgiveness? If I sin but no one is affected then can I say, "no harm, no foul?"
These questions and more are answered in this edition of "Sacraments 101," a web video series geared for those who'd like an introduction or refresher course on these important, tangible Catholic experiences of God.
The Sacrament of Penance (aka Reconciliation) is one of the healing sacraments, and celebrates the loving embrace of God when we turn toward him and away from our sins.