Reconciliation (or penance, or confession) is one of the two Sacraments of healing. It is the Sacrament in which sins committed after baptism are confessed after an examination of conscience and forgiven by a priest in the name of Christ.
"Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." - John 20:23
The Sacrament of Penance is an experience of the gift of God's boundless mercy. Not only does it free us from our sins but it also challenges us to have the same kind of compassion and forgiveness for those who sin against us. We are liberated to be forgivers. We obtain new insight into the words of the Prayer of St. Francis: "It is in pardoning that we are pardoned."
Jesus entrusted the ministry of reconciliation to the Church. The Sacrament of Penance is God's gift to us so that any sin committed after Baptism can be forgiven. In confession, we have the opportunity to repent and recover the grace of friendship with God. It is a holy moment in which we place ourselves in his presence and honestly acknowledge our sins, especially mortal sins. With absolution, we are reconciled to God and the Church. The Sacrament helps us stay close to the truth that we cannot live without God. "In him, we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). While all the Sacraments bring us an experience of the mercy that comes from Christ's dying and rising, it is the Sacrament of Reconciliation that is the unique Sacrament of mercy.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available by appointment by calling the parish office. Communal celebrations of the Sacrament are offered regionally during the seasons of Advent and Lent. Watch the bulletin for dates, times and locations for the Advent and Lenten celebrations.
PREPARING FOR THE SACRAMENT OF FIRST RECONCILIATION
These "first" Sacraments are milestones in your child’s ongoing Catholic formation. The Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation has three elements: conversion, confession, and celebration. In it we find God's unconditional forgiveness; as a result, we are called to forgive others. The celebration of the Sacrament of First Reconciliation at St. Bernard is a parish service held for parish children enrolled in the 2nd grade* of School or our Family Faith Formation program. For a complete timeline of Sacramental Preparation changes as they will occur for grades 2, 3 and 4 for this school year and next school year please see this letter
Students enrolled in St. Bernard School prepare for First Reconciliation as part of the religious curriculum in their classroom. Children in our Family Faith Formation program prepare by attending both their regular class sessions and additional classroom sessions.
There is an important parent-only meeting held in January. We will review all upcoming dates and review the very important role that parents play in the preparation of their child for the Sacrament.
A completed Sacrament registration form is due with the child’s school enrollment if a school family, or with Family Faith Formation registration forms if in that program.
We look forward to meeting you and your child and walking with you on the journey to the sacrament of First Reconciliation. This core belief of our Catholic faith is at the heart of who we are, how we celebrate, and how we live each day.
*For the School year 2019-2020 all Catholic students in grades 2, 3 and 4 will be prepared and will celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the Lenten season of 2020.
Parent information and form(s):
Has it been a few years since you have been to the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
Does the thought of facing a priest after all that time have you worried?
You are not alone. Here are some videos which may help.