There are four steps in the Sacrament of Reconciliation:

  1. We feel contrition for our sins and a conversion of heart to change our ways.
  2. We confess our sins and human sinfulness to a priest.
  3. We receive and accept forgiveness (absolution) and are absolved of our sins.
  4. We celebrate God’s everlasting love for us and commit to live out a Christian life.

Sin hurts our relationship with God, ourselves and others. As the Catechism states:

The sinner wounds God’s honor and love, his own human dignity…and the spiritual well-being of the Church, of which each Christian ought to be a living stone. To the eyes of faith no evil is graver than sin and nothing has worse consequences for the sinners themselves, for the Church, and for the whole world. (CCC 1487, 1488)

A mature understanding of sin includes reflecting upon our thoughts, actions and omissions as well as examining the patterns of sin that may arise in our lives. With contrite hearts, we are also called to reflect upon the effects of our sins upon the wider community and how we might participate in sinful systems.

Contrition and conversion lead us to seek a forgiveness for our sins so as to repair damaged relationships with God, self, and others. We believe that only ordained priests have the faculty of absolving sins from the authority of the Church in the name of Jesus Christ (CCC 1495). Our sins are forgiven by God, through the priest.

The Spiritual effects of the Sacraments of Reconciliation include:

  • reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace
  • reconciliation with the Church
  • remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins
  • remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin
  • peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation
  • an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle (CCC 1496)

Individual confession with a priest is the principal means of absolution and reconciliation of grave sins within the Church. The Sacrament of Reconciliation frees us from sinful patterns of behavior and calls us to complete conversion to Christ. Reconciliation heals our sins and repairs our relationships.


This is the Sacrament in which sins committed after Baptism are forgiven. It results in reconciliation with God and the Church. (US Catholic Catechism for Adults, Glossary)



Our "First Penance / First Communion" preparation program is offered per the teaching of our Archbishop in his sacramental policies:

“Children, parents/legal guardians are to be prepared for First Penance as one community, regardless of how they receive their faith formation; whether in school, parish programs or home-schooling.” (Policy on First Penance, 03/07)

“Parishes are to provide programs for parents/legal guardians so that they can fulfill their role as primary educators of their children. Programs are to be designed to nourish the faith life of the participants as well as provide them with theological understanding of the sacrament.” (Policy on First Communion, 03/07)

Our program year will typically include 24 sessions and a readiness interview prior to receiving Penance and receiving First Holy Communion. The sessions will focus on Church teachings in relationship to the promises you made when you chose to baptize your child in the Catholic faith. Our commitment is to support you in your unique role as parents by assisting you in preparing your child for these sacraments.

This program is necessary in addition to your child's regular religious education and formation, which is required to begin in the first grade or one complete year prior to the preparation for First Penance (Policy on First Penance, First Communion, March 2007). Programs can include St. Monica School, our Sunday, Faith Forward program, or a home-school program rooted in the teachings of the Catholic Church. If you are transferring from another parish please call the Office of Religious Education.

On the scheduled Sunday mornings,  the children will meet in school classrooms.  There is also a parent component to the class. This is a new program! And, should be attended by all parents regardless of previous participation in the parent classes.  The parenet class meets six times during the program year beginning in October and concluding in May. The parent classes will focus on the Chruch, Mass, Sacraments, Stewardship, and Family. This structure will allow you and your child to attend Mass as a family at either the Sunday morning Masses, with the Sacramental Preparation sessions occurring between these two liturgies. 

St. Monica students will be receiving their instruction in their 2nd Grade Class as a new component to their weekly curriculum.

Michael Peters, Director of Religious Education, or: 206.232.9829, x133


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