People are often very intimidated about confessing their sins to another person, especially a priest. However, that is exactly the point: Jesus, through the priest, is personally present in the sacrament. The same Jesus who forgave sins in Palestine 2,000 years ago is the same Jesus who waits to speak with you in the confessional. All you will find in the confessional, then, is the radical love and forgiveness of a Father who wants you to be reconciled with both God and neighbor.
In reconciliation, you come before a priest to express regret for your sins and resolve to resist them in the future. After you name your sins, the priest will say, “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” You must still make amends for those sins by completing the penance given to you by the priest, but you can walk away with confidence knowing that Jesus, acting through his priest, has definitively and absolutely embraced you with his mercy and redeeming love. Your sins are truly forgiven.
Opportunities for Reconciliation
There are two weekly opportunities for reconciliation at SJE:
Tuesdays at 4:30pm in the Church
Saturdays at 8:30am in the Day Chapel
Occasionally, such as during Lent and Advent, there are also opportunities where multiple priests are available. Please see the parish bulletin or ask one of our parish staff members for more information.
First Reconciliation for Children
The valiant one whose steps are guided by the Lord,
who will delight in his way,
may stumble, but he will never fall,
for the Lord holds his hand.