Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation

Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation

(Canons 959 - 997)

"Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."

John 20:23

Candidates for First Penance/Reconciliation are those members of the Christian faithful who are already baptized in the Catholic Church, have reached age of reason, are seven years of age or older and in the second grade or above.

First reception of the sacrament should precede reception of First Eucharist/Communion by at least six months. Since the Sacrament of Penance and Eucharist are two distinct sacraments, catechesis for each sacrament is conducted separately. Children in second grade are to be prepared for the Sacrament of First Penance only.

Preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation actively involves the parents, so that, as primary catechists, they may better assist their child to understand, prepare, and be disposed to receive and celebrate this sacrament. In order to help parents to be better informed, the parents will be required to participate in a minimum of three two-hour formation sessions, for a total of six hours.

Godparents/Sponsors are not necessary for the reception of First Reconciliation. Parents are expected to live a sacramental life so as to lead their child by example, as they give witness to the Gospel in their daily lives.

Requirements for Entering First Penance Program

  • must already be baptized in the Catholic Church
  • must have attended the previous year of Religious Education sessions with less than three absences
  • child must express some desire to receive Jesus
  • know the difference between right and wrong
  • child must know who Jesus is, some main events in His life, and the stories of His birth, His death and His resurrection
  • family must be attending Mass on Sunday's and Holy Days of Obligation, Retreat, Formation Sessions and Parent's Meetings