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“Don’t be afraid of confession,” Pope Francis stressed. “When someone is in line for confession he feels all these things - even shame - but then, when he finishes confessing, he leaves (feeling) free, great, beautiful, forgiven, clean, happy.”

The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (also known as confession) is one of two sacraments of healing. The Sacrament of Penance is God’s gift to us so any sin committed after Baptism is forgiven. It gives us the opportunity to repent and return to good graces and friendship with God and the Church.

During reconciliation we place ourselves in the presence of God. This can be done in a private setting (confessional) or face-to-face with a priest. Reconciliation allows the priest to offer absolution by acting “in the person of Christ.” It is at this time we receive God’s mercy and forgiveness. Healed and forgiven we are sent out to show peace, justice and love in our community and world.

How to Make a Good Confession

How to Make a Good Confession InfographicInfographic - Includes illustrated steps on how to make a good confession and simple explanations of the Examination of Conscience and Act of Contrition. It's a great resource for parents to use with their children.

Reconciliation: A Short Guide: English | Spanish

Dear Fr. Kerper: What is the Act of Contrition?

Learn more at

Resources for Parents

Reconciliation and Children (USCCB)

Examination of Conscience for Children

Confession Guide for Children