“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them…”
“Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion.” (CCC 1422)
While the Sacrament of Baptism takes away original sin, humanity is nevertheless weakened by the effects of sin, whether mortal or venial. Personal sin, far from being private, damages the life of the individual and the Church alike. Knowing this, however, Jesus instructed his apostles in the forgiveness of sins, a ministry which the Church continues even today through the Sacrament of Reconciliation (also called Penance or Confession).
Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the penitent speaks his or her sins to the priest, who stands in persona Christi capitis (“in the person of Christ the Head”), and subsequently hears the words of Christ and the Church, “I absolve you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Confession therefore grants not only the forgiveness of sins, but also reconciles sinners to God and the Church, washing them clean and giving them the grace to continue to overcome the effects of sin in their lives.
Catholics are required to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation once a year but are invited to make as frequent use of Confession as necessary. Frequent celebration of Confession (i.e. monthly) is encouraged to deepen the disciple’s relationship with God and to take advantage of the manifold gifts of grace which God desires to bestow upon his children through the Sacraments.
For information on when the Sacrament of Reconciliation is celebrated at our parish, please consult the schedule of Mass and Confession times. To speak with a priest outside of these times, please contact the parish office at 217-877-4404. For further questions regarding the Sacrament of Reconciliation, please consult our FAQs.