The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a common name used for the Sacrament of Confession. Whereas “Confession” stresses the action of the believer in the sacrament, “Reconciliation” stresses the action of God, who uses the sacrament to reconcile us to Himself by restoring sanctifying grace in our souls. It has three elements: conversion, confession and celebration. In it we find God’s unconditional forgiveness, and as a result we are called to forgive others.
The sacrament is one of the seven sacraments recognized by the Catholic Church. Catholics believe that all of the sacraments were instituted by Jesus Christ himself. In the case of Confession, that institution occurred on Easter Sunday, when Christ first appeared to the apostles after his Resurrection. Breathing on them, he said: “Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained” (John 20:22-23).
One should feel free to contact the priests at the Church at other times to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is advised to approach this sacrament before the reception / celebration of the other sacraments like: Adult Baptism, First Holy Communion, Confirmation, Marriage, Anointing of the Sick and Holy Orders and specially if one is the state of sin and wishes to renew a life of holiness. The Redemptorists follow the spirit of their founder St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori and make themselves available for confessions at anytime of the day.
As Catholics, we are fortunate to have the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is the ordinary way for us to have our sins forgiven. This sacrament is a powerful help to get rid of our weaknesses, grow in holiness, and lead a balanced and virtuous life.