The Sacrament of Reconciliation is also known as the Sacrament of Penance or Confession. This sacrament can set us free from our sins, and from the burden of guilt that comes along with our sins. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation we are brought back into union with God. Our sins separate and damage our relationship with our Lord, and it is through this most powerful sacrament that our relationship with the Lord is repaired and strengthened. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation we can walk more closely with the Lord once again, without the burden of our sins weighing us down and distancing our relationship with God.
Jesus entrusted his Church with the power of forgiving sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The priest is simply the one who acts in persona Christi (in the person of Christ) in the confessional, but it is our Lord who forgives our sins. The priest grants absolution (sets us free from our sins) using the power Jesus entrusted to his Church. It is through Christ that our sins are forgiven.
Preparation for reception of the sacrament is generally taught as the first part of the programme of those children preparing for First Holy communion. Parent meetings and preparation begin in the Autumn, ending with celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the first part of the New Year.
Confessions are heard after Mass on Fridays and after the Saturday Evening Mass in each church. At any other time confession is available on request.