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The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (aka. Confession) grants the penitent pardon through God’s mercy for sins committed after Baptism, reconciles the penitent to God and the Church, and grants the grace to live a renewed life in Christ Jesus. 
Confession Schedule (only Main Church) Wednesdays: 9am-9:30am and Saturdays 4:45pm-5:15pm.
*Parishioners can request a special day and time for Penance by contacting the Rectory: [email protected] or 201-944-2727.  
For information regarding Lent, please go to:

Preparing For Confession

Before we celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we prepare ourselves. We examine our conscience. Here is a way to examine your conscience before going to confession: • Pray to the Holy Spirit for help. • Review the Ten Commandments and the teachings of the Church • Think about the times you did not act as a loving child of God. • Think about the sins you are going to confess.

Examinations of Conscience For Adults

Before celebrating the Sacrament of Penance, one should prepare themselves with an examination of conscience.  An examination of conscience is a “prayerful self-reflection on our words and deeds in the light of the Gospel to determine how we may have sinned against God” (— Glossary, 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church.

There are various types of examinations of conscience but regardless of which one you use to prepare yourself for the Sacrament it should be rooted in Scripture; particularly, the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes. 

An Examination of Conscience for Children

Responsibilities to God:

Have I prayed every day?
Have I prayed my morning prayers and night prayers?
Have I prayed with my parents and family?
Have I been moody and rebellious about praying and going to church on Sunday?
Have I asked the Holy Spirit to help me whenever I have been tempted to sin?
Have I asked the Holy Spirit to help me do what is right?

Responsibilities to others:

Have I been obedient and respectful to my parents?
Have I lied or been deceitful to them or to others?
Have I been arrogant, stubborn or rebellious?
Have I talked back to parents, teachers or other adults?
Have I pouted and been moody?
Have I been selfish toward my parents, brothers, and sisters,
teachers, or my friends and schoolmates?
Have I gotten angry at them? Have I hit anyone?
Have I held grudges or not forgiven others?
Have I treated other children with respect or have I made fun of them and called them names?
Have I used bad language?
Have I stolen anything? Have I returned it?
Have I performed my responsibilities, such as homework and household chores?
Have I been helpful and affectionate toward my family?
HaveI been kind and generous with my friends?


After your examination of conscience, you are ready to go to confession. Something to think about: The priest can never tell anyone what he has heard in confession. This is called the Seal of Confession.

In the Confessional

  1. The priest will welcome you.
  2. Begin by making the Sign of the Cross.
  3. A simple formula can get you going: “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. My last confession was ___ days/months/years ago and these are my sins.”
  4. You then list the kind and number of your sins (e.g. I missed Mass 3 times; I lied 20 times).
    1. Mortal Sins – these are more serious and must be confessed. There are three conditions for a mortal sin.
    2. Venial Sins – these are less serious and do not require confession, but confessing venial sins is a good practice.
  5. The priest may ask you questions and/or offer you counsel.
  6. The priest will give you an appropriate penance (e.g. “For your penance, please pray 2 Hail Marys).
  7. The priest then invites you (the penitent) to make an Act of Contrition (see below). There are no required words, although you need to include that you are sorry and that you will amend your life. A commonly used Act of Contrition is the following:

    My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to good, I have sinned against You, whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with the help of Your grace, to sin no more and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered and died for us. In His name, my

    God, have mercy.

  8. The priest then prays the prayer of absolution (forgiveness):

    God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of His Son, has reconciled the world to Himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the Church, may God give you pardon and peace. I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

  9. You answer, “Amen.”
  10. The priest may then say, “God has forgiven your sins. Go in peace.”
  11. You respond, “Thanks be to God.”
  12. You then leave and as soon as possible complete the penance the priest has assigned to you. (see Prayers for Penance below)

Act of Contrition for Adults

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all of my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God have mercy. Amen.

Act of Contrition for Children

O my God, I am very sorry for all my sins, because they displease you, who are all good and deserving of all my love. With your help, I will sin no more. Amen.

Prayers For Penance

(Follow the penance given to you by the priest. The prayers will vary)
Sign of the Cross: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer/Our Father: Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
The Hail Mary: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Glory Be to the Father: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.