Reconciliation

The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation

Wed  11:45 am - 12 noon
Thur  11:45 am - 12 noon
Fri      11:45 - 12 noon
Sat      5:00 pm - 5:20 pm
Sun    7:40 am - 7:55 am    10:30 am - 10:55 am    7:40 pm - 7:55 pm


The whole Church, as a priestly people, acts in different ways in the work of reconciliation which has been entrusted to it by the Lord.  Not only does the Church call sinners to repentance by preaching the Word of God, but it also intercedes for them and helps penitents with care and solicitude to admit their sins and so obtain the mercy of God.  The Church becomes the instrument of the conversion and absolution of the penitent through the ministry entrusted by Christ to the Apostles and their successors when he breathed on them after his resurrection and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  Whose sins you shall forgive, shall be forgiven…” (see Gospel of John).  One of the ways the Church seeks to fulfill this call to be Christ’s ambassador of reconciliation is through the sacrament of Reconciliation which in times past has been called by such names as “Penance” and “Confession” because of those elements of the sacrament.  The priest in his role thus serves as a sign of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, which in communion with Jesus its “head” serves as a channel of the Father’s mercy, emptying the heart of sin and filling it anew with the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of holiness.
 
The sacrament of Reconciliation is offered 30 miniutes before Saturday evening mass from 5:00 pm to 5:20 pm. and 30 minutes before each Sunday morning mass from 7:30 am to 7:50 am & 10:30 am to 10:50 am.  There are also special Advent and Lenten communal celebrations of the sacrament (according to Form II) which are offered in those seasons as we prepare as a people for the festive seasons of Christmas and Easter as we seek to be more dead to sin and alive anew in Christ’s Spirit of holiness.  Catholics may also schedule an appointment for the sacrament if their work schedule or need necessitate seeking the sacrament outside of the regularly scheduled times.  They only need to call the pastor (361-387-1312) to set a date and time for the celebration of the sacrament.  First Reconciliation is scheduled by the Director of Religious Education during the months prior to First Communion.  Those in the RCIA program usually are invited to schedule for the sacrament during the months prior to their reception into full communion with the Church. 
 

 

There are four steps in the Sacrament of Reconciliation:

  1. We feel contrition for our sins and a conversion of heart to change our ways.
  2. We confess our sins and human sinfulness to a priest.
  3. We receive and accept forgiveness (absolution) and are absolved of our sins.
  4. We celebrate God’s everlasting love for us and commit to live out a Christian life.

Sin hurts our relationship with God, ourselves and others. As the Catechism states:

The sinner wounds God’s honor and love, his own human dignity…and the spiritual well-being of the Church, of which each Christian ought to be a living stone. To the eyes of faith no evil is graver than sin and nothing has worse consequences for the sinners themselves, for the Church, and for the whole world. (CCC 1487, 1488)

A mature understanding of sin includes reflecting upon our thoughts, actions and omissions as well as examining the patterns of sin that may arise in our lives. With contrite hearts, we are also called to reflect upon the effects of our sins upon the wider community and how we might participate in sinful systems.

Contrition and conversion lead us to seek a forgiveness for our sins so as to repair damaged relationships with God, self, and others. We believe that only ordained priests have the faculty of absolving sins from the authority of the Church in the name of Jesus Christ (CCC 1495). Our sins are forgiven by God, through the priest.

The Spiritual effects of the Sacraments of Reconciliation include:

  • reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace
  • reconciliation with the Church
  • remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins
  • remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin
  • peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation
  • an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle (CCC 1496)

Individual confession with a priest is the principal means of absolution and reconciliation of grave sins within the Church. The Sacrament of Reconciliation frees us from sinful patterns of behavior and calls us to complete conversion to Christ. Reconciliation heals our sins and repairs our relationships.