Rooted in Faith



The Sacrament of Penance (or Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession) is for spiritual healing. Catholics believe Jesus left the Sacrament of Penance because only God’s grace can heal a wounded soul. Penance helps Catholics atone for sins they’ve committed.

The manner in which this sacrament is done has developed over time, but the basics have always remained:

  • Confession: You confess all known to a priest.

  • Contrition: You must be sorry you committed the sins and resolve to do your best not to repeat them.

  • Penance: After you confess your sins, the priest gives you a penance to perform.

  • Absolution: The priest hearing your confession offers forgiveness, saying a prayer that calls on God to give you absolution and peace.