There are four steps in the Sacrament of Reconciliation:

  1. We feel contrition for our sins and a conversion of heart to change our ways.
  2. We confess our sins and human sinfulness to a priest.
  3. We receive and accept forgiveness (absolution) and are absolved of our sins.
  4. We celebrate God’s everlasting love for us and commit to live out a Christian life.

Sin hurts our relationship with God, ourselves and others. As the Catechism states:

The sinner wounds God’s honor and love, his own human dignity…and the spiritual well-being of the Church, of which each Christian ought to be a living stone. To the eyes of faith no evil is graver than sin and nothing has worse consequences for the sinners themselves, for the Church, and for the whole world. (CCC 1487, 1488)

A mature understanding of sin includes reflecting upon our thoughts, actions and omissions as well as examining the patterns of sin that may arise in our lives. With contrite hearts, we are also called to reflect upon the effects of our sins upon the wider community and how we might participate in sinful systems.

Contrition and conversion lead us to seek a forgiveness for our sins so as to repair damaged relationships with God, self, and others. We believe that only ordained priests have the faculty of absolving sins from the authority of the Church in the name of Jesus Christ (CCC 1495). Our sins are forgiven by God, through the priest.

The Spiritual effects of the Sacraments of Reconciliation include:

  • reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace
  • reconciliation with the Church
  • remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins
  • remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin
  • peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation
  • an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle (CCC 1496)

Individual confession with a priest is the principal means of absolution and reconciliation of grave sins within the Church. The Sacrament of Reconciliation frees us from sinful patterns of behavior and calls us to complete conversion to Christ. Reconciliation heals our sins and repairs our relationships.


Prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation by reviewing an Examination of Conscience, such as the one here:


“Blessed are you who are poor.”

Have I reached out to the poor; have I shown respect for the homeless; have I tried to help?

Have I tried to live simply; have I refused to waste resources that could benefit others?

“Blessed are you who are hungry.”

Have I tried to alleviate hunger; have I contributed to food collections?

Have I been so concerned about my own needs that I neglected the needs of others?

Have I remembered to be thankful for all the good things I have received?

“Blessed are you who are now weeping.”

Have I tried to console someone who is sad?

Have I shown compassion to someone who is needy?

Have I tried to see the other side of an argument?

Have I been a good listener?

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”

Have I tried to set aside my prejudices and listen with an open mind?

Have I been the first to offer forgiveness?

Have I refused to seek revenge?

Have I prayed for those who hate me?


Gracious God, ever loving and forgiving, we turn to you now for help. When we were still in sin, you redeemed us. Hear us now at this time of salvation. Amen.



This is the Sacrament in which sins committed after Baptism are forgiven. It results in reconciliation with God and the Church. (US Catholic Catechism for Adults, Glossary)

Mary Ellen Kenney
Sacramental Director
651.437.4254 ext. 227


Letter to Parents

Registration Form

Calendars 2017-18


First Reconciliation at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton


At St. Elizabeth Ann Seton children prepare for the reception of this sacrament in the second grade. A letter is sent to parents of second graders in the fall with more information about preparing for this Sacrament and the First Eucharist.

The new Archdiocesan guidelines for the Sacrament of Reconciliation states that,” instruction for this sacrament must precede First Eucharist and be kept separate from it.” The purpose is to teach children the specific identity of this sacrament and to help them feel comfortable with it before receiving First Eucharist.

First Reconciliation for Adults (those beyond 2nd grade)

Adults (and children beyond 2nd grade) wishing to receive First Reconciliation are encouraged to join the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process.