Reconciliation is a sacrament of hope. It demonstrates that all is not lost, that growth and change are possible, and that we can rely on God and the Church in our efforts to become the best people we are capable of becoming.
What is the sacrament called?
It is called the sacrament of Conversion because it makes sacramentally present Jesus's call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father from whom one has strayed by sin.
It is called the sacrament of Penance, since it consecrates the Christian sinner's personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance and satisfaction.
It is called the sacrament of Confession since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. In a profound sense it is also confession - acknowledgment and praise - of the holiness of God and of His mercy toward sinful men.
It is called the sacrament of Reconciliation because it imparts to the sinner the love of God who reconciles.... (CCC 1423-1442)
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an important part of our lives as Catholics living together as a community. It is a sacrament of forgiveness and peace. Through reconciliation we are filled with the strength and grace to become the people we are called to be, the People of God.
Preparing children for the Sacrament is an important element in their spiritual formation. As parents you have the awesome responsibility of helping your child form a good conscience, distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil. It is through your efforts that your child establishes a system of values and a code of morality. It is through your lives that he/she comes to understand forgiveness. It is by witnessing your faith in Christ that your child comes to know Jesus.
Those who approach the Sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God's mercy for the offence committed against Him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example and by prayer labors for their conversion.@ (CCC 1422)
We are here to assist you in preparing your child for 1st Reconciliation, BUT their appreciation of this sacrament comes primarily from you. You, as parents, are the ones from whom your child learns most of his/her religious attitudes and values.
Here at St. Martin's, preparatory studies for the reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is a two year program.