Confession is an act of honesty and courage –
an act of entrusting ourselves, beyond sin,
to the mercy of a loving and forgiving God.
— St. John Paul II

First Penance

Children who have reached the age of seven years and are students in Saint Margaret Catholic School or Saint Margaret Religious Education Program are invited to special classes preparing them to make their first confession. Because children learn the faith from their parents, family participation is highly encouraged! Pre-registration is required for classes.

Making a Good Confession

Before going to confession, take time to prepare by prayerfully examining your conscience since your last confession.

In the confessional the priest will welcome you.  The penitent and the priest begin with the sign of the cross.  ("In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

You may begin your confession with these or similar words: "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.  It has been (give days, months, or years) since my last confession."

Confess your sins to the priest.  When you are finished, conclude with these or similar words: "I am sorry for these and all my sins."

After this, the priest may give some advice and then proposes an act of penance which the penitent accepts.  The priest then asks the penitent to express their sorrow for their sins by praying an act of contrition.  The penitent may do so in his/her own words, or may pray one of the many memorized like the following:

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all 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.

After this the priest will absolve the penitent using the words of absolution.

The penitent makes the sign of the Cross and answers: Amen.

The priest will then dismiss the penitent with a short prayer and encouragement. The penitent should then immediately try to fulfill the penance imposed if it is something that can be done quickly.

Examinations of Conscience

An examination of conscience.

An examination of conscience for married couples.

An examination of conscience for teenagers.

An examination of conscience for religious and priests.