Penance (Reconciliation)

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)


First Reconciliation at St. Hugo

Preparation for the sacrament of First Reconciliation takes place concurrently with the 2nd grade curriculum in both the after school Religious Education Program and in St. Hugo School. 

A portion of the sacrament preparation takes place at home and requires the participation of parents and other family members. 

Click here for the Sacrament Preparation Meeting Schedule.  It is also available in the Religious Education Office.  Attendance at these meetings is a requirement for both parents and children. 

Sacrament Preparation for Children attending Catholic Schools other than St. Hugo School

Students who attend a Catholic school other than St. Hugo School are still expected to celebrate the sacrament of First Reconciliation
at St. Hugo, their home parish.  We welcome these students and look forward each year to having them join with the Religious Education and St. Hugo School students in the preparation for, and celebration of, this sacrament.

We ask that parents do the following:

  • Register your child for the sacrament through the Religious Education Office; they coordinate the Sacrament Preparation program for the entire parish.
  • Plan on attending the meetings WITH YOUR CHILD that relate to  First Reconciliation.  Please refer to the Sacrament Preparation Meeting Schedule.
  • Work together with your child at home to complete the sacrament preparation materials that are provided.

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