Reconciliation

Reconciliation is offered on Saturdays 3:30-4:30pm before the 5:00pm Mass. If that does not fit your schedule, please call the pastor at the office to schedule an appointment.

 FAQ:

  1. What if I haven’t gone in a while?
    • Don’t worry about what to say. The priest will help you. Be reassured that God hears you and wants to bring healing into your life. You do not need to talk to the priest face-to-face if you don’t want to. Know that any sin confessed must be kept by the priest in absolute privacy.
  2. What if I’m not Catholic
    • Non-Catholics can still come to talk with priest although it technically would not be considered the sacrament of Reconciliation. It would be considered a formal pastoral visit much on the same level as talking with a counselor. The priest and penitent would talk about whatever issues are mentioned. Prayer would be offered as well as a blessing at the end.
  3. When is 1st Reconciliation?
    • First Reconciliation is done prior to First Holy Communion. Classes for First Holy Communion begin the beginning of first grade and conclude at the end of second grade. To register, please contact LuAnn Baumker, Director of Religious Education, at 323-1484.
  4. How do I make a good confession? 
    • There are many pamphlets in the church and even apps to download onto your smartphone that can help you make a more thorough confession. The more one uses God’s gift of Reconciliation, the more attuned the person becomes to their spiritual life.
  5. What happens after absolution?
    • Once sins are forgiven, God forgets them and begins again with us. The power of God’s forgiveness is a powerful weapon against temptation and is a healing balm for the soul.
  6. What if I forget my penance?
      To show God that we are sorry for our sins and wish to improve our faithful life with Him, a penitent must complete the penance as a token expression of amendment. But If the exact penance slips one’s mind and the person forgets, simply go back to the priest if possible and explain the situation to the priest. He will help you.If it is not possible to return to ask the priest, you will need to go use Reconciliation again.
  7. Can I receive Holy Communion if I have committed a mortal sin?
    • One must first confess to a priest and then perform penance. Only then is the repentive Catholic able to receive the Eucharist.
  8. What is a mortal sin?
    • Mortal sins are a grave violation of God’s law that turns man away from God. Someone who is aware of having committed mortal sins must repent and confess them in order to receive Eucharist.   Why is that? Because mortal sin is a strong rejection of God. It would be liking slapping someone in the face and then acting like it didn’t happen.
    • Mortal sins are deadly sins, which if not repented, put one’s eternal soul in jeopardy.
    • To commit a mortal sin is possible, but does not occur as often as people think. To commit a mortal sin requires three factors:
      • Subjectively, one must know that the action was a sin.
      • AND, objectively, the action itself was grave matter. “Grave matter” includes, but is not limited to:
        1. Sins against the 1st Commandment: idolatry, participating in the occult (whimsically or frequently), ignoring Jesus by not attending Sunday Mass
        2. Sins against the 6th Commandment: cohabitation, pre-marital sex, contraception, being civilly married outside the Catholic Church, pornography, adultery,
        3. Others: stealing from the poor, grievous lies, abortion, advocating mortal sin, abandoning family members, slavery, sadism, etc…
      • AND, subjectively, the person did it freely.
  9. What factors affect culpability for mortal sin?

LESS CULPABLE                                               MORE CULPABLE

    • Immaturity                                                       v. Maturity
    • Mental Disorders                                            v. No mental disorders
    • Willful Ignorance        v. Awareness               v. Acceptance of the Truth
    • Addictions                  v. Temptations             v. Normal Free Will
    • Forced                        v. Stress                      v. No Stress
    • Once mortal sins are forgiven, God forgets them and begins again with us. The power of God’s forgiveness is a powerful weapon against temptation and is a healing balm for the lingering guilty

Scriptural Roots

Will be added soon!

Group Reconciliation

This is often called General Absolution. Only under the most stringent of circumstances can this be used. This would be the “Titanic Rule”. If a priest is in a situation where a boat is sinking, a plan falling, or in war zone where it is physically impossible to hear individual confessions, the priest has the authority to give general absolution to those present. Even then, should people survive, they are still obligated to confess any mortal sins at the next Reconciliation.  When General Absolution is done in a parish setting in Iowa, such events are NOT considered valid. Thus, no one has been officially absolved from sin.Parishes can have a time in which penitents pray together, sing, and do an Examination of Conscience together; but they must always do individual confession. 

Names for the sacrament

  • Sacrament of Penance: This emphasizes the action that the penitent must do as a sign of amendment.
  • Sacrament of Reconciliation: This emphasizes the re-establishment of divine friendship between God and the penitent. Sin and guilt have been washed away.
  • Sacrament of Confession: This emphasizes the penitent saying his/her sins.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is the ordinary means by which the Catholic faithful obtain divine mercy for the sins committed against God and neighbor and are reconciled with the Church.

The general process

  1. The penitent spends time at home or in the church doing an Examination of Conscience.
    • Pamphlets are available at the church’s entrance. Apps for an Examen are now available for download.
  2. The penitent walks into the confessional. Often the penitent will be able to choose to kneel behind a screen OR to sit face-to-face with the priest.
    • Only priests and bishops can give Reconciliation’s absolution. Deacons cannot.
  3. The penitent must be truly sorrowful for one’s sins which are to be said aloud to the priest.
    • Sins purposely left unsaid are a sign the penitent is not truly sorry and thus cannot receive absolution.
    • Sins that are forgotten and thus unsaid without purposeful intention are forgiven.
    • Mortal sins that are remembered at a later date need to be confessed.
  4. A conversation ensues in which the priest gives the penitents consolation and spiritual insight on how to combat sin and choose God.
  5. The penitent says the Act of Contrition.
  6. The priest gives a penance for the penitent to perform.
    • The penance can be prayers or an action that the penitent does in order to show true repentance.
    • No penance can truly make up for the sins one has committed. Only Jesus Himself has been able to pay the true price for our sin, and that He did with His death on the cross. A penance is a token gesture of the penitent’s willingness to conform his/her mind and will to Jesus.
  7. Having heard the sorrow of the penitent, and satisfied that the assigned penance will be performed, the priest then gives absolution (forgiveness).
  8. The penitent performs the penance.
  • The priest must hold all things said in the Confessional under absolute privacy. This is called the Sacramental Seal of Confession.

Serious sins (mortal sins) must be confessed within at most a year and always before receiving Holy Communion, while confession of venial sins also is recommended. The intent of this sacrament is to provide healing for the soul as well as to regain the grace of God, lost by sin.

How often should I go to Reconciliation?

Fr. Glen recommends every month. Officially the Church says, “After having reached the age of discretion, (7 years old) each of the faithful is obliged to confess his/her grave sins at least once a year.” This is often called the Easter duty. Today it is done during Lent in preparation for Easter Sunday.

Anyone who has the possibility of going to Confession and is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion without first receiving absolution in the sacrament of Reconciliation.

The Church “strongly recommends” confession of even venial sins and encourages frequent confession. This is a pious practice which the Church has introduced as a means of swifter daily progress along the road of virtue.

Pope John Paul II, who went to confession weekly and who stressed the universal call to holiness, enumerated these advantages of frequent confession:

  • we are renewed in fervor,
  • strengthened in our resolutions, and
  • supported by divine encouragementBecause of what he considered misinformation on this topic, he strongly recommended this practice and warned that those who discourage frequent confession “are lying”.