The Sacramental of Reconciliation
(Sacrament of Penance, also known as Confession)
"Those who approach the Sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God's mercy
for the offences committed against him, and are at the same time
reconciled by their sins and which by charity,
by example and by prayers, labours for their conversion.
It is called the Sacrament of Conversion because it makes sacramentally present, Jesus' call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father from whom one has strayed by sin.
It is called the Sacrament of Penance since it concentrates the Christian sinner's personal and ecclesial steps of conversation, penance and satisfaction.
It is called the Sacrament of Confession since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. In a profound sense it is also a confession - acknowledgement and praise - of the holiness of God and His mercy towards sinful man.
It is the Sacrament of forgiveness, since by the priest's sacramental absolution God grants the penitent 'pardon and peace'.
It is called the Sacrament of Reconciliation because it imparts to the sinner the line of God who reconciles. "Be reconciled to God". He who lives by God's merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord's call, "Go first, be reconciled to your brother." Catechism 1422-1424.
By our recognition of our frailty and falling through sin, we are able to turn to God and seek the strength to daily turn away from sin and fulfill our calling to be heralds of the Gospel.
Adults on the ABC Course celebrate this sacrament for the first time after they have been received into the Church at Easter. Children on the Sacramental Programme celebrate their First Reconciliation during the season of Lent.
Here at St Mary's, the sacrament is often available:- Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12 noon until 12.25. It is also available on Saturday mornings 10.30 am-11.30 am. The sacrament is also available during Night Fever (on the second Friday of the month from 7 pm-10 pm).
If you are a Catholic who has not been to Confession for some time, please don't worry because the priest will be really happy to guide you, what is important is that you're able to know the Lord's forgiveness and peace.
The practise of General Absolution is not celebrated in the UK, the Bishops of England and Wales, who have discussed this several times, recommend and encourage Reconciliation services which include individual confession and absolution. Recently, our bishop has reminded us of this.