|The Sacrament of Reconciliation|
Sometimes on our journey toward the heavenly promised land we stumble and fall into sin. God is always ready to lift us up and to restore us to gracefilled fellowship with him. He does this through the Sacrament of Penance (which is also known as confession or reconciliation, each term emphasizing a different element of the Sacrament).
Jesus gave His apostles power and authority to reconcile us to the Father. They received Jesus' own power to forgive sins when he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained" (John 20:22-23).
Paul notes that "all this is from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gven us the ministry of reconciliation...We are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us" (2Corinthians 5:18-20). Through confession to a priest, God's minister, we have our sins forgiven, and we recieve grace to help us resist future temptations.
At St. Thomas the Apostle Church, the Sacrament of the Holy Eurcharist is typically received in the second grade after two years of preparation through the Religious Education Program or through our Catholic Grade School.
Receiving the Sacrament of the Reconciliation for the first time as an adult is part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (see Adult Sacraments). For children in grades 3-6 who may need to make their first reconciliation, see Special Sacraments.
For more information or to register for classes, please call 815-455-5400.
For a listing of area confession times, click here.*This text was taken from "Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth" by Catholic Answers. More information about confirmation can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1422-1498) or at www.catholic.com