“Yet even now…
return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God. For he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love”. Joel 2:12-13

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of healing. The life we received at Baptism, strengthened in Confirmation, and nourish in the Eucharist is sometimes lost or severely threatened by our sinfulness and needs healing. And Jesus, in his great mercy, has given us a sacrament whereby we are restored both to our loving God and to the Church. And as a result of receiving this gift, we are restored to our baptismal state of innocence. We are truly forgiven and recreated. But even with this understanding and assurance, going to confession is hard.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is not about our sins; it’s about God’s forgiveness. If a sacrament is an effective sign which does what it says that it does, then the acknowledgement of sin (our confession) and the words of absolution truly bring about the forgiveness of our sins and a return to baptismal innocence.

While confession may be hard—and it may always will be—the consoling words of absolution make it all worthwhile. “I absolve you [set you free from all guilt and blame] from you sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.” Franciscan Media

Not only does it [the Sacrament of Penance] 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.” USCCB

The ten benefits of Confession

Confession at St. Bernadette Parish

Confession Times

Image of a clock
  • Saturday 2:45pm – 3:45pm
  • Appointments available after daily Mass
  • Appointments available other times, call the office to schedule with Fr. Joe McLagan

Preparing Children for the Sacrament of Reconciliation

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available to any baptized person who participates in the Catholic faith.  The journey to Reconciliation can begin as young as 2nd grade.  This is the age of reason in which children can begin to participate in the sacramental life of the church.  At the time of baptism, the parent has agreed to be the primary teacher of the Catholic Faith, so when a child is of age is to participate in the sacraments of the church, the church helps the parent build a strong foundation to leads this child to the abundant life Christ wants for us all.  Please see the Learn page for more information on classes to prepare you for first reconciliation if you are a baptized catholic.
We welcome all from different paths to the Catholic faith. Please see the Learn page if you are interested in Becoming Catholic.

How to Participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance)
Make the decision to go to Reconciliation.  It is a choice God has given us as part of our free will.  Pray and ask God to guide you.  If the time listed for hearing confessions does not work for you, call the priest to see if you can schedule a more convenient time.

How to make a good confession
Plan to say the Act of Contrition:

A suggested Act of Contrition is: My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.

Other options to the Act of Contrition: In your own words tell God you are sorry and you will work to do better, to sin now more and recognize Jesus suffered and died for you.


The Sacrament of Reconciliation is one of the most unique and beautiful aspects of Catholicism. Jesus Christ, in His abundant love and mercy, established the Sacrament of Confession, so that we as sinners can obtain forgiveness for our sins and reconcile with God and the Church. The sacrament “washes us clean,” and renews us in Christ.  
Learn More

Fr. Clifford is a recently ordained Franciscan priest. St. Monica-St. George Parish Newman Center is his first priestly assignment, where he is serving as associate pastor. He received a B.A in Catholic Studies from DePaul University and a Master of Divinity from Catholic Theological Union.

Experiencing the Sacrament of Reconciliation

Questions About Reconciliation?

Pic of Michelle Bauer - Director of Religious Education

Michelle Bauer

Director of Religious Education

Email Me!