Penance (Confession)

CONFESSION TIMES at St. Thomas Church:  Saturdays from 3:30 PM to 4:00 PM (when the anticipatory Mass is celebrated here)

(or other times by appointment, please call the parish office)

The Christian is brought into profound relationship with God and with his/her brothers and sisters in the Church through the sacraments of initiation.  This relationship is harmed or even broken through sin.  Through the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, the sinner approaches God and the Church, acknowledging and confessing sins, expressing regret and sorrow for them and receiving forgiveness through the mercy of God at the hands of a priest.  

All sin is an offense against God and a rejection of his perfect love and justice.  Yet, Jesus makes a distinction between two types of sins.  We call the most serious and grave sins, mortal sins.  Mortal sins destroy the grace of God in the heart of the sinner.  By their very grave nature, a mortal sin cuts our relationship off from God and turns man away from his creator.  The second type of sin, venial sin, that of less grave matter, does not cut us off from Christ.  However, venial sin does weaken grace in the soul and damages our relationship with God.  A person who frequently indulges in venial sin is very likely to collapse into mortal sin if they persist in their evil ways.  In order for a sin to be mortal, it must meet three conditions:

  • Mortal sin is a sin of grave matter
  • Mortal sin is committed with full knowledge of the sinner
  • Mortal sin is committed with deliberate consent of the sinner

This means that mortal sins cannot be done "accidentally."  A person who commits a mortal sin is one who knows that their sin is wrong, but still deliberately commits the sin anyway.  This means that mortal sins are "premeditated" by the sinner and thus are truly are rejection of God's law and love.