THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE AND RECONCILIATION
WHAT IS PENANCE?
A person is brought into full communion with the Catholic Church through reception of the three sacraments of Christian initiation—baptism, confirmation, and the holy Eucharist. We understand that the sacrament of Baptism is “the door which gives access to the other sacraments.” (CCC) In relation to Penance, baptism has removed all sins committed prior to its reception. Nevertheless, since most Catholics are baptized as infants, it is necessary for them to confess mortal sins committed since baptism before receiving confirmation and the Eucharist.
From the “Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)”
Jesus calls to conversion. This call is an essential part of the proclamation of the kingdom: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel." In the Church's preaching this call is addressed first to those who do not yet know Christ and his Gospel. Also, Baptism is the principal place for the first and fundamental conversion. It is by faith in the Gospel and reception of Baptism that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life. (1427 CCC)
Christ's call to conversion continues to resound in the lives of Christians. This second conversion is an uninterrupted task for the whole Church who, "clasping sinners to her bosom, [is] at once holy and always in need of purification, [and] follows constantly the path of penance and renewal." (Vatican II document on the Church par. 8:3) This endeavor of conversion is not just a human work. It is the movement of a "contrite heart," drawn and moved by grace to respond to the merciful love of God who loved us first. (1428 CCC)
St. Ambrose says of the two conversions that, in the Church, "there are water and tears: the water of Baptism and the tears of repentance."
If you have a child in need of receiving this sacrament for the first time, please contact Liz Smith at email@example.com for CREED information or Fr. Daniel Ciucci at firstname.lastname@example.org for Spanish Religious Education information.
RECONCILIATION IS AVAILABLE
Thursday: 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 7:00 a.m.
Saturday: 3:30 p.m.
Also by appointment.