The Sacrament of Penance (also called Reconciliation or Confession) is where we encounter God’s unconditional forgiveness, and as a result, we are called to forgive others. In John 20:23, Jesus tells his apostles: Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained. Thus, He establishes that the forgiveness of sins is a ministry of the Church. Later in the bible, St. Paul shows that he continued this ministry: Whomever you forgive anything, so do I. For indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for you in the presence of Christ, 2 Corinthians 2:10.
Catholics must confess all mortal sins committed since baptism. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1457-58):
“Each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year. Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution…”
“Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time.”
“Without being strictly necessary, confession of everyday faults (venial sins) is nevertheless strongly recommended by the Church. Indeed, the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more frequently through this sacrament the gift of the Father’s mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as he is merciful.”
Confession times at St Elizabeth Seton Parish:
- Saturdays following the 8:00am liturgy and at 3:00pm
- Tuesdays from 6:00-6:45pm
- Confession in Spanish is held on Saturday at 5:30pm just before the Spanish Mass
Confession is held at additional times within each liturgical season. Please check the website and bulletin for details.