"It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned" - The Prayer of St. Francis
An Experience of the Gift of God's Boundless Mercy
"Those who approach the Sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God's mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion."
The Sacrament of Penance, also commonly referred to as Reconciliation or Confession, is an experience of the gift of God's boundless mercy.
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."
Jesus entrusted the ministry of reconciliation to the Church. The Sacrament of Penance is God's gift to us so that any sin committed after Baptism can be forgiven. In confession, we have the opportunity to repent and recover the grace of friendship with God. It is a holy moment in which we place ourselves in his presence and honestly acknowledge our sins, especially mortal sins. With absolution, we are reconciled to God and the Church. The Sacrament helps us stay close to the truth that we cannot live without God. "In him, we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).
To learn more about the Sacrament of Penance, visit the US Conference of Catholic Bishop’s website. There, you can also download the e-version of the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults.
Reconciliation at St. George Catholic Church:
Confessions are available every Saturday at 4:00 pm in the confessional at the back of Church. They are also avaible upon request. Please call the Parish Office at (573) 486- 2723 and speak with Father if you should need to schedule something outside of confessional times.
If it has been a while since your last confession or you need some help making a good reflection on your sins, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops have collected and developed several "Examinations of Conscience" to assist you in your thoughts, words, and deeds in order to identify any sins.
There are various types of examinations of conscience but regardless of which one you use to prepare yourself for the Sacrament. The USCCB provides several options, all of then rooted in scripture particularly, the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes.
Receiving the Sacrament of First Reconciliation
In our PSR program we want to ensure that our students are educated in their Catholic faith and thoroughly prepared to receive their sacraments. We feel that religious education is a family commitment. It requires the support of parents and families as well as participation at school and home. Just like in their school education, what the students learn about their religion at a young age acts as building blocks to build on for the rest of their life.
Canon Law speaks directly to the importance of this period of preparation. Can. 913,1. “The administration of the Most Holy Eucharist to children requires that they have sufficient knowledge and careful preparation so that they understand the mystery of Christ according to their capacity and are able to receive the body of Christ with faith and devotion.”
Students who wish to receive their sacraments will need to complete a minimum of one year of religious education prior to the year that they receive their sacraments. For instance students may attend kindergarten and first grade PSR prior to receiving their sacraments in second grade. Or if the children are older, they may attend a pre-sacrament year of classes.
As stated above, your child may attend kindergarten and first grade PSR classes. These students would then prepare to receive their sacraments in 2nd grade. However, if your child enters the St. George PSR program at a later age, they would be a part of the pre-sacrament preparation class.
Here is an explanation of the next 2 yrs of pre-sacrament religious education:
1.) We have created a special pre-sacrament preparation class for older children without 1 year prior religious education. These students will spend the first school year learning about their Catholic faith. Some of the things that they will learn include: Catholic prayers, what we believe as Catholics, how we live our faith, how we worship, and about the seasons of the church year. We feel that this class will be very beneficial to the children in their pre-sacrament preparation. Our PSR teachers are excited to work with the children and help them in learning about their faith. It is important that parents also review these lessons at home with their children, to help encourage them in their faith development.
2.) During the next school year, the students will begin a year of sacrament preparation to make their First Reconciliation and receive their First Communion. Instruction during the sacrament preparation year includes classroom instruction, review at home, as well as Sacrament Center nights that parents will attend with their child throughout the year, and a retreat in the spring. After the Sacrament preparation year is completed, the children would then continue learning about their faith in a religion class with other students that are in their same grade.
Regardless of your children’s PSR grade, we ask that all parents please be sure to work with your child at home, reinforcing what they are learning in the PSR classroom. We also expect that families will be attending mass together. Regular weekly mass attendance is an important spiritual experience that you can share together as a family and helps build on what your child is learning in their religion class.
Please let us know if you have any questions about this process or about your child’s religious education. We would be happy to talk with you or meet with you to answer any questions you may have or assist you in your family’s commitment.