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The sacrament of Reconciliation, along with Anointing of the Sick, is one of the two Sacraments of Healing. Why would the Church, in her wisdom, require us each to seek the sacrament of reconciliation at least once every year?
In reality, we can all benefit from more frequent use of this gift which Christ has entrusted to the Church for we all frequently fall short of God’s desire for us. “If we say, ‘We are without sin,’ we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8). But God’s infinite love and mercy transcend any wrong we can possibly do.
When we sin, we make a conscious choice to turn away from God and one another. This puts a separation between us and God, and in the case of grave (mortal) sin, may fundamentally rupture the relationship in such a way that can be healed only through the sacrament of reconciliation.Even if we have not committed grave sin, we benefit from reception of this sacrament.
Through the sacrament of Reconciliation, we experience God’s infinite love and mercy, we turn away from sin and experience conversion, a turning back, toward God, our neighbor, and the Church community.
During reconciliation, we speak to the Priest about what we have done wrong, expressing our contrition and our desire to change. The Priest, standing in persona Christi (in the person of Christ), blesses us and says the words of absolution, forgiving our sins in the name of Jesus and the Church.
Reconciliation is available at St. Juan Diego each week, on Saturday at 4:00pm at the Church before the 5:00pm Mass, or by appointment by contacting the office.
Parish reconciliation services:
Parish Reconciliation services are held during the season of Advent and Lent. During a parish reconciliation service we have multiple priests available to hear confessions.
Children in sacramental prep (normally 2nd & 3rd grade) receive their “First Reconciliation” during the year they are preparing to receive First Communion. See the faith formation page for more information.
How frequently should we go to Reconciliation?
How often we avail ourselves of the sacrament remains a personal decision. Once we are of age, we are obligated to go to confession at least once a year. However, frequent confession — perhaps monthly — is a commonly recommended practice. Pope Francis, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Bl. Pope John Paul II, and Bl. Mother Theresa of Calcutta all availed themselves of the sacrament at least monthly.
Has it been a while?
You need never fear approaching the sacrament of reconciliation, no matter how long you have been away, or how deep you feel you have fallen. The following USCCB page is a great resource on reconciliation: USCCB Resources for Reconciliation.