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Holiness does not consist in not making mistakes or never sinning. Holiness grows with the capacity for conversion, repentance, willingness to begin again, and above all with the capacity for reconciliation and forgiveness. - Pope Benedict XVI

Hands holding the rosary while praying at church.

 The Sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as penance or confession, is a Sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ in his love and mercy to offer us forgiveness for the times we have sinned and turned away from God.

When we sin, we hurt ourselves, other people and God. Reconciliation allows us to acknowledge our sins before God and the Church.


The forgiveness of sins involves:

  • Contrition: Expressing our sorrow in a meaningful and a resolve not to repeat the sin.

  • Confession: Confronting our sins and speaking them aloud to a priest.

  • Penance: Doing penance the priest gives us in reparation for our sins helps healing.

  • Absolution: Words spoken by a priest that reconciles us to God and absolves us from sin.


When we express sorrow in a meaningful way, we can receive the forgiveness of Christ and his Church. Once we have forgiveness, we can then make reparations for our sins, and resolve to do better in the future. 

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