"It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do so without the Holy Mass." --St. Padre Pio
"Confession is an encounter with Jesus whose "mercy motivates us to do better." --Pope Francis
Our weekly Mass and Confession schedules are as follows:
(Go to the link MASS CELEBRANTS for the list of scheduled priests, etc.)
Monday-Saturday: 6:00 & 8:00 a.m. Saturday Vigil for Sunday Mass: 5:00 p.m. Sunday: 7:30, 9:00, 11:00 a.m. & 5:00 p.m. Latin High Mass: Sundays at 1:00 p.m. Holy Days of Obligation: 6:00, 8:00, 10:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. First Friday Mass each month: 7:30 p.m.
THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS is the heart of the Church's life; it is the Source and Summit of the Christian life. Catholics have an obligation to attend Mass every Sunday; however, let us not think of it so much as an obligation but more as a privilege. If you would like to read the Sunday Mass Readings in advance, as well as learn more information about each reading, click here (courtesy of St. Louis University's "Sunday Website"). To see which priests will be celebrating the various Masses, click on the separate link above, MASS CELEBRANTS. To read more about the Latin Mass (including celebrating the Sacraments of Baptism, First Communion, and Marriage in the Latin Rite, click on the main link, LATIN RITE.
Wednesdays from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. AND Saturdays from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
(During Holy Week, the schedule will be in the NEWS/EVENTS section)
THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCEobtains pardon from God's mercy for the offenses committed against Him and, at the same time, reconciles the penitents with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer, labors for their conversion. This sacrament is the first step in returning to the Father from whom one has strayed by sin. The disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament as the priest can withhold forgiveness if the person is not truly sorry or does not intent to stop committing the sin in question. In a profound sense, confession is also an acknowledgment and praise of the holiness of God and of His mercy toward sinful man. Through the priest's sacramental absolution, God grants the penitent "pardon and peace." The sacrament imparts to the sinner the love of God who reconciles us to Him: "Be reconciled to God." He who lives by God's merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord's call: "Go; but first be reconciled to your brother."
The institution of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as the Sacrament of Penance or Confession) occurred on the first Easter Sunday, when Christ first appeared to the apostles after His Resurrection. Breathing on them, He said: “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; Whose sins you retain, they are retained” (John 20:22-23).
The Purpose of Confession: The reconciliation of man to God is the purpose of Confession. When we sin, we deprive ourselves of God’s grace. And by doing so, we make it even easier to sin more. The only way out of this downward cycle is to acknowledge our sins, to repent of them, and to ask God’s forgiveness. Then, in the Sacrament of Confession, grace can be restored to our souls, and we can once again resist sin.
What Is Required?: Three things are required of a penitent in order to receive the sacrament worthily:
1. One must be contrite—or, in other words, sincerely sorry for his/her sins.
2. One must confess those sins fully, in kind and in number, with an intention to no longer commit those or any sins.
3. One must be willing to do penance and make amends for his /her sins.
How Often Should You Go to Confession?: Catholics are required to go to Confession when they are aware that they have committed a mortal sin. However, the Church urges the faithful to take advantage of the sacrament often. A good rule of thumb is to go once per month--but at least once a year. (The Church strongly recommends that, in preparation for fulfilling our Easter Duty to receive Holy Communion, we go to Confession even if we are aware only of venial sin.)
Why Is Confession Necessary?: Non-Catholics, and even many Catholics, often ask whether they can confess their sins directly to God, and whether God can forgive them without going through a priest. On the most basic level, of course, the answer is yes, and Catholics should make frequent acts of contrition, which are prayers in which we tell God that we are sorry for our sins and ask for His forgiveness. But the question misses the point of the Sacrament of Confession. The Sacrament, by its very nature, confers graces that help us to live a Christian life, which is why the Church requires us to receive it at least once per year. Moreover, it was instituted by Christ as the proper form for the forgiveness of our sins. Therefore, we should not only be willing to receive the sacrament, but we should embrace it as a gift from a loving God.
POPE FRANCIS' TOP TEN REASONS TO GO TO CONFESSION
Below are some of Pope Francis’ memorable quotes about why Catholics should go to confession:
1. "Confession helps people feel shame for the wrong they have done and embraces them with God's love so that they know they are forgiven and can go out strengthened in the battle to avoid sin in the future."
2. "But if a person, whether a layperson, priest or sister, goes to confession and converts, the Lord forgives. And when the Lord forgives, He forgets. This is important to remember." (July 28, 2014).
3. "The confessional is much more than just a dry cleaners, a business of sorts that just washes out the stain of sin" (April 29, 2014).
4. “…when the door starts closing a bit because of our weakness and sins, confession reopens it.”
5. “I can’t be baptized two or three or four times, but I can go to confession, and when I go to confession, I renew that grace of baptism” (Nov. 13, 2014).
6. "Confession is not a torture chamber where you'll be raked over the coals."
7. "Confession is an encounter with Jesus whose 'mercy motivates us to do better.'"
8. "Confession is not a psychiatric session that neglects the question of sin or a mental email to God that avoids the face-to-face encounter with the Lord through the priest."
9. "The sincere and humble admission of one's weaknesses, of having 'a sliver of Satan in my flesh,' shows that the power of salvation comes from God, not oneself.” (morning homily of June 14, 2014).
10. "Confession is going to praise God, because I--the sinner--have been saved by Him, who always waits and always forgives with tenderness."
VATICAN CITY - May 20, 2013, Eve of Pentecost(The following includes some comments about confession that Pope Francis made in his audience that day in St. Peter's Square, as well as comments about his prayer life, etc.):
With humor and passion, Pope Francis shared highlights of his personal faith journey and explained some key points of his teaching to an enthusiastic crowd of representatives from Catholic lay movements. He told the crowd about one confession that he said changed his life.
“It was Sept. 21, 1953. I was almost 17 years old,” he said. In Argentina, it was the first day of spring. He said he felt the need to go to confession and entered his parish church where there was a priest he had never met before. “I found someone waiting for me. I don’t remember why that priest was there or why I felt the need to confess, but the truth is, that someone was waiting for me and had been waiting a while. After that confession, I felt something had changed. I wasn’t the same. I felt a call; I was convinced I had to become a priest.”
Pope Francis said people talk a lot about the need to seek God, but the truth is that God always seeks people out first, that he is always waiting for them and always ready to love them. Implying that he would like to hear confessions in Rome parishes like he did as archbishop of Buenos Aires, he said, “…but I can’t, because once I would go into the confessional, there would be no way out of here!,” leading to great laughter in St. Peter’s Square.
Asked how he came to have faith. Pope Francis responded, “I had the grace of growing up in a family in which the faith was lived simply and concretely; but it was especially my grandmother—my father’s mother—who marked my faith journey. She explained things to us, spoke to us about Jesus, taught us the catechism.
The pope said he draws strength from praying the rosary each day and from praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament each night. “Sometimes I nod off, it’s true ... but He understands. And I feel such comfort knowing that He’s watching me.”