. . . you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16: 25-28)
The New Testament is filled with stories of Jesus healing and forgiving people’s sins. In every account, forgiveness is given to an individual, not groups of gathered crowds. Each encounter is personal and intimate – from Jesus’ conversation with the woman who had been caught in adultery to Peter who denied Jesus three times. In each instance there is an admission of sin. There are always audible words of forgiveness by Jesus. There is change effected by forgiveness.
At its core, sin is the absence of love. What we call sins are selfish, unloving attitudes, habits and actions, or the failure to act with love toward others, God and ourselves. Today's world is filled with human sin, just as it was when Jesus walked on this earth. All of us are painfully aware of our own personal sin and weakness. Many of us are also aware of the part we play in corporate sin, such injustice, materialism and waste of the earth's resources. We find ourselves longing for reconciliation and peace, not only with God but also with those we have injured, because even the most hidden sin is never a private matter between God and one person. Like the concentric waves made by a pebble dropped in a quiet pond, our unloving actions or failures to act impact those around us. Just as our behavior has a communal effect, so also the Sacrament of Reconciliation brings us back into harmony with God AND the Christian community.
We can always go directly to God and ask for forgiveness. But the Church, exercising the power to bind and loose given it by Jesus, models the process of forgiveness on Scripture itself. Jesus, who was flesh and blood like us, directed forgiveness intimately to one person at a time. It was a person-to-person encounter, an affirmation of His solidarity with our humanity. When we receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation through confession, we follow the Scriptural model provided by Jesus. We speak intimately on a one-to-one basis with a priest who has been empowered to forgive in the name of Jesus and thereby affirm for us that we are indeed forgiven.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
If you wish to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, confessions are heard at the following times:
Saturdays 3:00 P.M. – 3:45 P.M. in Religious Ed Gardens or by Appointment
If you have been away from the Church for a long time or wish to speak with a priest in considerable detail about a problem, call the parish office and request an appointment: (562) 498-6641.
The children of Our Lady of Refuge, ordinarily ages 6-8, prepare for their First Confession by means of a two year process. For information about this process, please contact the Office of Religious Education at: (562) 597-3102, ( 9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. weekdays).
If you are a baptized Catholic, have never been to confession but would like to know how to do so, contact the Office of Initiation: (562) 597-3102.
To learn more about the Sacrament of Reconciliation, click on the links below:
- Sacrament of Reconciliation - Rising to New Life
- Links to Articles on Confession, Penance and Forgiveness
- Articles on Confession and Reconciliation.
- Purpose of the Sacrament of Reconciliation
- Guide to Sacrament of Reconciliation
- Links to Articles on the Sacrament of Reconciliation