Penance and Reconciliation

Healing and reconciling during Lent

Healing and reconciliation are at the heart of our Christian life. It is Jesus' call and gift to us.

Several priests will be available in special Penance/Reconciliation Services throughout our neighborhood.

2017 schedule to be announced.

Healing and reconciling during Advent

Healing and reconciliation are at the heart of our Christian life. It is Jesus' call and gift to us.

Several priests will be available in special Penance/Reconciliation Services throughout our neighborhood.

2017 schedule to be announced.

• 6:30 to 7 p.m. Thursdays in the church

• 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays in the church

• By appointment (call the church office)


Reconciliation at St. Bernard

In addition to our regular confessions on Thursday and Saturday, our parish provides special Reconciliation Services during Advent (in preparation for Christmas) and during Lent (in preparation for Easter).

St. Bernard belongs to a cluster of Catholic parishes, including St. Dominic, St. Ignatius, and Divine Saviour churches.

During Advent and Lent, special Reconciliation Services are also celebrated in these parishes with the priests from all of these parishes participating.

What is confession?

Penance is a sacrament in which forgiveness of sins committed after baptism is granted through the priest's absolution to those who, with true sorrow, confess their sins and promise to satisfy for the same.

The Sacrament of Penance is an experience of the gift of God's boundless mercy. Not only does it free us from our sins but it also challenges us to have the same kind of compassion and forgiveness for those who sin against us. We are liberated to be forgivers. We obtain new insight into the words of the Prayer of St. Francis: "It is in pardoning that we are pardoned."

Jesus entrusted the ministry of reconciliation to the church. The Sacrament of Penance is God's gift to us so that any sin committed after baptism can be forgiven. In confession we have the opportunity to repent and recover the grace of friendship with God. It is a holy moment in which we place ourselves in his presence and honestly acknowledge our sins, especially mortal sins.

With absolution, we are reconciled to God and the church. The sacrament helps us stay close to the truth that we cannot live without God.

"In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). While all the sacraments bring us an experience of the mercy that comes from Christ's dying and rising, it is the Sacrament of Reconciliation that is the unique sacrament of mercy.

During confession

After examining your conscience and telling God of your sorrow, go into the confessional. You may kneel at the screen or sit to talk face-to-face with the priest.

Begin your confession with the sign of the cross, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. My last confession was _________ weeks (months, years) ago."

The priest may read a passage from holy scripture.

Say the sins that you remember. Start with the one(s) that is/are most difficult to say. (In order to make a good confession, the faithful must confess all mortal sins, according to kind and number.) After confessing all the sins you remember since your last good confession, you may conclude by saying, "I am sorry for these and all the sins of my past life."

Listen to the words of the priest. He will assign you some penance. Doing the penance will diminish the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven.

For more information

For further guidance, feel free to come to our church office or make an appointment with one of our parish priests.