Confession is above all a place of healing, not a place of judgment or punishment. When we make our confession to a priest in the confidentiality of the confessional or reconciliation room, we experience healing and liberation, discovering again and again how much we are loved by God, how precious we are to Him, and how great is our dignity as His children. Once he has heard our confession, the priest says the words of absolution for our sins:
God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of His
Son has reconciled the world to Himself and sent the Holy Spirit among
us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may
God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins, in
the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
What the penitent makes known to the priest remains "sealed" because the confidentiality of confession is absolute. Nothing said by the penitent in confession will ever be repeated. This is an experience of mercy and reconciliation, where we can lay down the burdens of guilt and shame that we carry with us. No matter what we think of ourselves or of God, we can still be certain that God forgives us, loves us and wants only to heal us.
A priest is available each Saturday from 3--3:30 pm and by appointment. Additionally, communal celebrations of Penance are celebrated during Advent and Lent.