The Sacrament of Penance, also known as the Rite of Reconciliation or Confession, is the “liturgical celebration of God’s forgiveness of the sins of the penitent, who is thus reconciled with God and with the Church. The acts of the penitent – contrition, the confession of sins, and satisfaction or reparation-together with the prayer of absolution by the priest, constitute the essential elements of the Sacrament of Penance” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 980, 1422, 1440, 1448).
Through the three sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist) we receive the new life of Christ, but we carry this life in earthen vessels and remain subject to suffering, illness, and death. Moreover, this new life as a child of God can be weakened and even lost by sin. For this reason, the Lord Jesus – the divine physician of our bodies and souls – has given us two sacraments of healing: Penance and the Anointing of the Sick.
On the Day of His Resurrection, the Lord Jesus breathed on the Apostles, giving them the gift of the Holy Spirit, and proclaimed: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:23). This gift of grace to the Apostles allows mortal, sinful men to act as God’s instruments in the forgiveness of all sins committed after Baptism, and this sacred power is exercised by bishops and priests in the Sacrament of Penance when they hear the confession of sins and pronounce
absolution for the remission of sins by the precious Blood of Jesus Christ.
The Sacrament of Penance is a sacred mystery of conversion from sin, confession of guilt, forgiveness of the wrong done, and reconciliation with Christ and His Church. All Catholics over the age of reason should come to the Sacrament of Penance at least once each year during Lent or Eastertide and as often as necessary when conscious of serious sin, and anyone conscious of grave sin should not receive Holy Communion before being reconciled to God by sacramental confession and absolution.
On the part of the sinner contrition, confession and satisfaction are required. Contrition is aversion to the sins committed. Perfect contrition remits sin even before confession if it is joined with the intention to confess. Imperfect contrition is sufficient if there is confession, and is a good and salutary thing. Confession must cover all mortal sins (Sins committed knowingly (you know it is grave sin) and willingly (with whole heart and with free consent), on grave matters, and even though you had the choice of avoiding it but you did not) committed, not confessed before. Venial sins, and sins already confessed can validly be confessed. The effect of the sacrament is reconciliation with God, that is, the remission of sins and communion with the church.
Confessions at St. Anthony of Padua Church
Confessions are heard every Saturday afternoon from 3:00 to 3:45,6.30 to 7.00 and anytime by appointment. For Christmas and Easter we have special confession schedules available in the news and event page.