healing Through Reconciliation

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance, also known as Confession, is available at TWO designated times weekly in the Reconciliation Chapel on the side of the church or by appointment.

During COVID Confession is in the Cry Room.

Friday 7:45AM-8:30AM
Saturday 3:00PM-3:50PM



How to make a really good confession

Start by downloading our Examination of Conscience and Confession Guide below. In it you will find:

  • What is required to make a good and valid Confession
  • An Examination of Conscience using the Ten Commandments
  • An Examination of Conscience using the Precepts of the Church
  • Prayer before Confession
  • A step-by-step guide for what to do/say during Confession
  • Prayer after Confession
  • A short explanation of why the Church teaches what it does about Confession

 Then scroll down for some great videos on Confession!

Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance

The Basics

This sacrament goes by many names today, most popularly called the sacrament of reconciliation, penance, and confession. It is the sacrament by which Christ forgives our sins through the absolution of the priest.

The most ancient manual of the Church’s sacramental and moral life, the Didache, urged Christians to confess their sins before approaching the altar for Communion. It is, after all, by confessing our sins and receiving forgiveness that we are restored to normal family life.

 The classic expression of Jesus’ doctrine [teaching] of confession and forgiveness is a family story. It is the story of the prodigal son (Lk 15:11-32). In that parable, we see the drama of sin, repentance, confession, forgiveness, and restoration to the family table. All the elements are there, allegorically describing the life Jesus would leave for His Church. We are sons and daughters of almighty God; but we stray; and so He humbles Himself to come down to us and give us what we need in order to come home and stay.

Jesus did not leave us orphans. He prepared His apostles to act as fathers in the Church. As fathers, they would forgive, like the father of the prodigal son...

Jesus did not leave us orphans. He prepared His apostles to act as fathers in the Church. As fathers, they would forgive, like the father of the prodigal son; and, as fathers, they would help their children to get scrubbed and properly clothed for the family meal. Jesus said to Simon Peter: “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:19). Jesus told all the apostles: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (Jn 20:23).

The apostles took Jesus at His word and extended that ministry to the penitents of their early congregations. St. James urged his hearers to “confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (Jas 5:16). The context is key to our understanding this passage. James is not saying that anyone can administer the sacrament of confession. [rather, James is saying that the faithful should be reconciled to each other before coming to receive communion with each other]. He speaks of the sacrament of confession as a ministry among the duties of the “elders of the Church” (v14). The Greek word for “elders” is presbuteroi, from which we derive the English “priest.” The ordinary minister of the sacrament of penance is a priest or bishop.

 Celebration of the sacrament varies widely from time to time and place to place. Certain elements are essential. First, the person approaching the sacrament must be sorry and want to amend their life; he/she must confess his/her sins; and he/she must perform the act of penance prescribed by the priest as a step towards amending their life. The priest pronounces the words of absolution (“God the Father of Mercies, through the death and resurrection of His Son, has reconciled the world to Himself, and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace. And I absolve you of your sins in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”) The priest prays for the sinner, and does penance with him (CCC, 1448). (From Scott Hahn's Book, Swear to God)

Watch these Great Videos about Confession

A 10 minute video that will inspire you to come and receive the mercy and healing that Jesus offers in the Sacrament of Confession.
Ever wondered why you need to go to Confession—not just confess your sins to God directly?  This 6 minute video offers an excellent explanation of why Jesus gave his people the sacrament of Reconciliation.

Watch MORE Great Videos about Confession

A 7 minute how to! Find out how exactly to make a good Confession and a step-by-step of how it works for those who haven't been in a while.


First Reconciliation is part of the preparation for a child receiving their First Eucharist. These Sacraments are celebrated every year in late Spring for all duly prepared and instructed second graders from St. Vincent de Paul's School and St. Vincent de Paul's religious education program. A minimum of one full year of instruction is required in advance. Proof of Catholic baptism is also required prior to reception of First Eucharist. For further information for students in both the school and religious education programs and for students who are older than second grade, contact the First Eucharist coordinator.

Questions about Confession?