“Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” John 20:21-23
Reconciliation is one of the Sacraments of healing. We receive the gift of Grace in the form of God’s forgiveness, love and mercy. If God loves his people unconditionally, then why does the sacrament of Reconciliation (sometimes called Penance or Confession) exist? In receiving this sacrament, we are offered the opportunity to heal our relationship with our loving Father. As humans, we have the need to hear the words “You are forgiven” as a chance for us to continue on our faith journeys feeling connected to our God, who never disconnects from us.
Our Diocese makes the following recommendations:
The sacrament of Reconciliation is to be received before the child receives the Eucharist for the first time. Children in our Catholic schools are normally prepared for Reconciliation and celebrated the sacrament in grade 2, or at about age seven.
Children who do not attend a Catholic school are prepared at St Joseph Church in the Parish-Based Program. Parents are required to attend the 6 sessions with their child. We advocate that parents are the first teachers of the faith.
One of the best ways for you to prepare your child for this sacrament is to model forgiveness and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Our children learn about forgiveness when we forgive them, each other, and ourselves. It is also important to model how we approach others with the words “I’m sorry” and how we can also show our penitence through actions of love.
Catholic Central has fun and very informative videos you can watch with your children. This one is about Reconciliation.
You can also watch Brother Francis talk about The blessings of Confession and “The Power of Forgiveness” on Formed.org. If you haven’t signed up yet, please register as being a member of Saint Joseph Grande Prairie.
Registrations for 2021 are now closed. Registrations for 2022 will open this fall.
If you have any questions, please contact Beatriz at SJC-Sacraments@gpcsd.ca or call 780-532-2351, ext. 228.