Healing, forgiveness and conversion are a part of every Christian's life. For Catholics the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance / Reconciliation brings the penitent closer to Christ and the faith community. Through this sacrament of forgiveness, the penitent examines one's life, confesses one's sins to a priest, accepts the penance and receives the forgiveness of the Church through the absolution of the priest. Individual celebrations of the Sacrament of Penance (Rite I) take place before every Mass at Saint Anthony.

During the seasons of Advent and Lent, the sacrament takes place in the framework of a communal celebration. Parishioners prepare themselves together and give thanks together for the forgiveness received. Here, the personal confession of sins and individual absolution are inserted into a liturgy of the word of God with readings and homily, an examination of conscience conducted in common, a communal request for forgiveness. This communal celebration expresses more clearly the ecclesial character of penance. This celebration is called the Sacrament of Penance (Rite II).

Jesus Christ gave his Apostles the power to forgive sins. The Sacrament is also known as the Sacrament of Conversion, Forgiveness, Penance, or Reconciliation. Confession is a very intimate experience. Even in a communal reconciliation service that you might attend during Advent, Lent, or a retreat, individual confessions are private.

In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Jesus provides us with a way of being reconciled to God and to those we've hurt, and to be strengthened in our connection to God's entire family. This is more than symbolic; it is spiritual reality expressed through ritual.

A priest is necessary, since only an ordained person has the authority to give absolution. On your part, three essential elements are required:

  1. Be repentant. O.K., you are human, you made a mistake. Being repentant is the recognition that you've made a mess of something in your life, and you want to clean it up.
  2. Confess your sins. When you confess your sins remember, you're not telling God anything he doesn't already know.
  3. Accept the penance. Accepting a penance from the priest and completing it is proof of your true sorrow.

Confessions at St. Anthony's are Saturdays, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  If you cannot make that time, approach the priest after daily Mass or contact the rectory for an appointment with the priest.