First Reconciliation (Confession or Penance):
“Peace be with you!” With these words, the Risen Lord greeted his frightened Apostles in the Upper Room on the day of his Resurrection. They were troubled, anxious, and fearful—much like each one of us at some point in our lives. Christ repeated the words, “Peace be with you.” But then he added, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them” (Jn 20:19-23). What an extraordinary gift! The Risen Lord was proclaiming that all the suffering he had just endured was in order to make available the gifts of salvation and forgiveness. He wanted the Apostles to receive these gifts. He wanted them to become apostles of this forgiveness to others. In the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, also called confession, we meet the Lord, who wants to grant forgiveness and the grace to live a renewed life in him. In this sacrament, he prepares us to receive him free from serious sin, with a lively faith, earnest hope, and sacri- cial love in the Eucharist. The Church sees confession as so important that she requires that every Catholic go at least once a year.1 The Church also encourages frequent confession in order to grow closer to Christ Jesus and his Body, the Church. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, we seek forgiveness and repentance, let go of patterns of sin, grow in the life of virtue, and witness to a joyful conversion. Since the graces of the sacrament are so similar to the purpose of the New Evangelization, Pope Benedict XVI has said, “The New Evangelization . . . begins in the confessional!”
It is our fervent prayer that through the work of the Holy Spirit, all Catholics—clergy and laity—will respond to the call of the New Evangelization to encounter Christ in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Come to the Lord and experience the extraordinary grace of his forgiveness!
-The celebration of First Reconciliation is usually celebrated in the second grade. It is important that the candidate for First Reconciliation have an adequate foundation of faith understanding, which is normally obtained by completing the first grade level of religious education. Parents are instrumental in establishing the readiness of the child for the celebration and integration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation in their lives.
Here are some questions to help determine a child’s readiness to celebrate Reconciliation:
• Does my child desire to celebrate the sacrament?
• Does my child have an age-appropriate understanding of right and wrong?
• Does my child have an understanding of God’s love and forgiveness?
• Has my child been formed in faith in an age-appropriate manner?
• Attendance at three parent child sessions (held in October and November) Schedule
• Completion of the workbook entitled Jesus Brings Us Life
• Regular attendance at the Holy Mass before, during and after preparation for the Sacrament of First Reconciliation.
Celebration of the sacrament occurs on the first Saturday of December at 11am.
For more information please contact Dominic Salamida at 392-2710 Press 3 then 3 or by email at Dominic Salamida