Reconciliation is offered in church following the 8:30am Saturday mass, and from 4-4:30pm on Saturday afternoon. You may also contact a priest (773.631.4127) to arrange for a private reconciliation by appointment. Parish penance services are also offered during Advent and Lent. Please see calendar for specific dates and times.
Celebrating and receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation can be among the most blessed of human experiences. Yet, there are a number of reasons why we don't take advantage of this sacrament or we don't celebrate it well. Fear, shame, bad experiences of the past, a long time since the last reception of the sacrament or bad habits in celebrating it now ... are all possible reasons. The solution is so simple. An understanding of Reconciliation and a small encouragement to give it a new try, with a new expectation, can literally change our lives and will certainly renew our faith.
Has it been a while? Here's a how-to guide, and don't be afraid to bring it with you.
The sacrament of Reconciliation is God's gift to us. In the story of the Prodigal Son, Jesus tells us that God is simply waiting for us to come home. In the story, the father is not only waiting, he is out by the road longing for the wayward son to return. And when the son begins to give his practiced speech of repentance, the father interrupts him and shouts orders to begin the celebration. Jesus is telling us that this is how God feels about our reconciliation. It isn't about having to shame ourselves or face being scolded. It is about letting ourselves receive the merciful and healing love and peace that only God's love can give us.
As God's children, we believe that being forgiven and extending forgiveness are two sides of the Christian coin. We speak of it often—so often, in fact, that we can lose sight of its significance. Advent and Lent are liturgical seasons especially meant for polishing. May we consider God's forgiveness of us and with grateful hearts extend our forgiveness to others.
Real belief in forgiveness is the sort of thing that easily slips away if we don't keep polishing it up.