Reconciliation

The Church is a Field Hospital for Sinners.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation

After saying this he breathed on them and said: “Receive the Holy Spirit.  For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven, for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.”
John 20:22


Our Christian life is an ongoing journey.  On this journey, we often wander off course.  In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we celebrate God's mercy and God's willingness to forgive us for our sins and failures to live as children of God.  The Sacrament of Reconciliation recognises our honest acknowledgement of our need for God's mercy and our desire for ongoing conversion.


The power to forgive sins was given to the Church by our risen Lord on the first evening of Easter:  "Jesus breathed on the disciples, and said to them,'Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.'" (John 20:22-23) At the heart of the Gospel is the call to repentance, the call to turn from sin and toward God.  (Mark 1:14-15)  In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we have the means for forgiveness of sin committed after Baptism.  


Confession and the granting of God's forgiveness, or Absolution, not only gives us, but also compels us to seek a new and enriched relationship with the Saviour of the world, with our neighbours, and with ourselves.  By our penance, we enter into the joy of our Lord.


Individual Reconciliation

All parishioners may come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation by making an appointment with a priest as needed.


Reconciliation is a sacrament which can be celebrated repeatedly throughout one’s life, and indeed Christians are encouraged to receive this sacrament frequently. The Church suggests regularly confessing our sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, at least once a year during the Easter Season.


The Blessings in Frequent Confession
There are many blessings in frequent confession. Among such blessings are the following:

  • It restores divine life to those who have lost it through mortal sin;
  • It increases grace and one’s capacity for grace and helps one to grow in Christian maturity;
  • It brings order and peace into one’s life by causing one to pause at regular intervals and ask oneself the all-important question: Where am I in my relationship with God?
  • It improves personal relations with others by making one aware of attitudes and actions that cause pain to others;
  • It motivates one to practice the basic Christian virtues: faith, hope, charity, humility, self-denial, repentance, detachment from the pagan ways of modern life.


If you are unsure how to go to Confession …
Sometimes, people hesitate to go to confession because they have forgotten how to do so. The Video to the right may help.


A guide to examining your conscience to help you make a good confession can be found here.


(c) St Mary's and St Matthew's PCC