Make the most of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation
Confessions are heard from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm Saturday afternoons, First Fridays at 9 am; 5 pm, during all Sunday Masses and by appointment by calling the rectory (540) 662-5858.
Make the most of your Confession
It is a great joy to a priest to help a Catholic who truly wants to get back on the right path through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To garner all the graces available from this Sacrament, be sure to prepare before stepping into the confessional. Try these additional tips to get the most out of this wonderful Sacrament of healing:
1. Know what it is you want to confess. Spend some time reflecting on your life, and examine your conscience so you know why you need God’s forgiveness. (See below for a guide to examining your conscience.)
2. Find a confessor with whom you are comfortable. We are blessed to have priests who are wonderful confessors. Father Krempa’s and Father Dobbins’ confessionals are clearly marked. During penance services, you can also access other priests from around the diocese, such as Father Sam from the San Damiano Spirituality Center in White Post. No matter to which priest you confess, he can never talk about your sins outside the confessional, nor can he even refer to them in conversation with you. To do so will bring down grave consequences to him, including possible excommunication.
3. If you have lots to say or if you will want more of an exchange, don’t just get in line on a Saturday afternoon. Call a priest and make an appointment. It’s better if you don’t feel rushed.
4. Relax. If it’s been a while, if you’re nervous, or you don’t remember how to proceed just tell the priest. He’ll reassure you, and walk you through the process.
5. After you receive your penance and before the prayer of absolution, you will need to pray an Act of Contrition. If you don’t remember the Act of Contrition don’t worry. Our confessionals have it taped to the handrail right in front of you. If you go face-to-face, you can bring in a copy with you.
6. Go regularly. Many people find it helpful to see the same confessor every few weeks. With regular confessions, particularly face-to-face, your confessor can help you look at the patterns of your life, not just individual sins.
Examination of Conscience
Here is an examination of Conscience from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to help prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Frequent reception of the Sacrament helps us to sharpen our sense of sin and to avoid those patterns that damage our relationship with God. Consider performing this examination each night at bedtime to review the day’s activities and reaffirm your resolve to avoid sin the next day.