The Sacrament of Reconciliation (the Sacrament of Penance or Confession) is an invitation for Catholics to experience the love and mercy of God the Father through the ministry of priests. Catholics can experience healing through forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God and His Church.
Catholics are always welcomed back to receive this sacrament - whether it has been two weeks or two decades since the last Confession. Often those who have gone to Confession relay experiencing peace and joy and feeling the weight come off their shoulders as they receive forgiveness for their sins. If you have not gone to Confession in a while, we want to welcome you back and take part in this beautiful sacrament of healing.
At St. John the Apostle, Confessions are heard 20 minutes before all weekend Masses and 15 minutes before all weekday morning Masses. Confession can also be scheduled by appointment.
Put simply, it’s God’s plan. The priest is the minister of the sacrament acting in the person of Christ. In fact, the confession of sins to a priest is the only ordinary way to have mortal sins forgiven after Baptism. Also, God knows how we can rationalize our sins away and sweep them under the rug. And so He wants us to tell our sins and to acknowledge them in a personal encounter. Know that we fall into the loving arms of our heavenly Father when we go to a priest and confess.
Remember that priests have heard thousands of confessions over the years, and there are really no new sins. It’s a great privilege for priests to hear confessions and be instruments of the Father’s mercy.
No, quite the opposite. He’ll be inspired by your humility and courage, and likely won’t remember your sins anyway. And remember, priests have to go to Confession, too. Even the Pope has to confess his sins to another priest.
Under no circumstances. If a priest did tell any person–even the police–something he heard in the confessional, he would be excommunicated.
“Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more” (Rom. 5:20). God’s mercy is greater than all our sins. Assuming you are truly sorry for what you’ve done and willing to make necessary changes, the answer is YES. God longs for you to return to his merciful Heart.