In the sacrament of Reconciliation God welcomes us back with open arms when we choose to return to Him after walking away, no matter how briefly or prolonged.
Children who are in Year 3 and above at school are invited to enrol for preparation to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion over 9-12 weeks.
Our hope is that the programme gives the opportunity for young people and their families to grow in faith and love, and to develop their relationship with God and each other.
Showing an interest in the programme does not commit anyone to receiving the sacrament but provides an opportunity to come and see.
Parents are the most influential teachers to their children and the programme aims to encourage the faith of parents who will then help their children to prepare to receive the sacraments.
Many parents have often found this preparation time to be an excellent opportunity to ask questions within a small group without fear of judgement.
Please feel free to 'come and see.'
My dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ.
I would like to continue with my reflection on the Sacraments. The next one that comes to mind is Reconciliation.
I would like to give a statement from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on Reconciliation.
"Those who approach the sacrament of Reconciliation obtain pardon from God's mercy for the offences 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 labours for their conversion"
When I was growing up, I had never heard of the word 'Reconciliation". It was the word "Confession". Now Confession for me was a nightmare in the daytime, when I had to go, and didn't want to go, and tell all my sins to the Priest.
When I was about sixteen years old, I went to Confession to tell my sins, and at time, I had upgraded my sins, so to speak. The big question was, was I go to tell the Priest at the start of would I tell him at the end. I decided to tell him and try to get out the Confessional Box as soon as I could. To my horror, when we had finished the Priest said to me that he would pop around to have a cup of tea with my Mother!!!.
When I got home, I told my Mother that I was not well, and the Priest would be around for a cup of tea. I think, she got the message straight away.
Glad to say that my fears of the experience have died. With the present experience of Reconciliation and how I now understand it, is to celebrate the Sacrament.
Let me explain. I see that Reconciliation can be a very encouraging Sacrament, like the others. I see, there are five parts to it. First, our Magnificat, is where we tell God how much we experience how He loves us in what he says and does for us, like Our Blessed Mother. The second is that we tell our sins (faults). Then we received His Love in the human form of Absolution. We continue to say a prayer of sorrow with hope for the future of His Love and forgiveness. Finally, Jesus has done our penance on the Cross for all humanity, when He said "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they have done and are doing". This shows us of the Father's Divine Love in human form. It is a great healing experience too. We thank Him later in the day.
May we pray that we will all encourage one another to celebrate this Wonderful Sacrament of the Trinitarian Love.
Share our care in the Lord. Your brother in Christ, Ian.