Penance/Confession

We celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation:

     Saturdays: 4:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.  

     Weekdays after 8:00 a.m. Mass

     By appointment; please see a parish priest or call the parish office at  (516) 731-4220

sacrament is an outward sign of God's presence and action in our lives.  The Sacrament of Penance (also called the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession) is the Church's ritual through which God's forgiveness, and our reconciliation with God and others is celebrated and deepened.  In this sacrament we recognize and "own up" to the sins and unloving choices which have hurt ourselves and others, confess them to God and others through the priest, promise to do penance (which means making up for the hurt we have caused others or taking steps to be healed from what sins ailed us), and receive from God and the Church, through the priest, forgiveness of and absolution from the sins and failings confessed.

With the encouragement of the priest and the grace of Christ, we can then go forth feeling "freer" and "lighter," and with greater resolve and strength, make things right with God and others.

Steps to a fruitful experience of the sacrament:

  1. Examine your conscience. Ask yourself how you have succeeded and failed in showing God's love to others.  Click here for a sample examination of conscience.
  2. Choose a confessor. You may come to Saint Bernard's during scheduled Confession times (see above) or you may make an appointment with a particular priest by speaking with him or calling him at the parish office at (516)731-4220.
  3. Simple ProcedureIf you are not familiar with the Penance ritual, the priest will guide you through it.  You begin with the Sign of the Cross.  The priest may read a short text from the Scripture, then he will invite you to confess your sins.  He will encourage you and may counsel you, then will discuss with you a suitable penance.  He will invite you to say a prayer of sorrow (or act of contrition.)  You may use a prayer that you know, or the priest will provide one, or you may use your own words of sorrow.  The priest will absolve you of your sins in the name of God and the Church, and send you forth to grow in God's love.
  4. Go forth! With God's grace and the encouagement of the Church, you can now "do penance" by making right the wrongs you have done, and by striving to live as the child of God that you are!

If you would like to read further about the sacrament, follow this link for a series of short, informative articles:www.americancatholic.org/Features/Sacraments/Reconciliation.asp