are heard 30 minutes prior to the start of each Mass.
of Reconciliation (Confession)
the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his
Son, has reconciled the world to Himself and sent the Holy Spirit
among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of
the Church, may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you
from your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Spirit." - Words of absolution
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered at St. Jerome before
every mass and also any time by request.
Twice a year we gather as a community for Reconciliation Services.
These are held during the Advent and Lenten seasons as our preparations
for the two most important Christian holydays, Christmas and Easter,
All of us
together, with our joys, our fears, our differences . . . all of
us together, with our hopes, our dreams, our faults . . . all of
us together, many though one, are called to love.
Together we form one circle.
This circle has no beginning and no end.
At times this
circle of love is broken because of selfishness, because of
prejudice and because we ignore the deepest stirrings that go on
in all of us.
We find ourselves
creating separate circles: the inner circle, the outer circle, the
circle of POWER, and the circle of despair.
carefully define our circles at work and at home.
nourish; other circles destroy.
The circle of love is broken whenever there is alienation,
misunderstanding, and hardening of our hearts.
The circle of
love is broken whenever we can’t see eye-to-eye, we can’t link
hand-to-hand, or we can’t live heart-to-heart.
Before we pray,
before we dream, before we can witness to justice and peace, we
must be a single circle, a single unbroken circle, a wide, opening
Let us spend time
for a few moments thinking about our lives’ circles.
Questions to think about during this time of reflection:
How have others hurt you, and caused you to leave/run away
from the circle? How
have you hurt others and forced them out of the circle?
What is your
hurt, your wound, and your pain?
In the silence of
your heart, please reflect as you prepare for the sacrament of
ask for forgiveness of one another as children of God, as friend
to friend. Too many
times, we have judged one another, condemning those things we did
not understand. We
ask forgiveness for assuming we know all there is to know about
each other, for presuming to speak for each other, for defining,
confining, claiming, naming, limiting, labeling, and interpreting.
Here are the
guidelines for better personal preparation:
PREPARATION FOR THE SACRAMENT
Read one of
the following Scripture texts and consider what the Lord is saying
to you through the Good News. Then pray for the gift of a contrite
heart. A sample prayer is included.
a tax collector named Levi sitting at his customs post. He said
to him, “Follow me”. Leaving everything behind, Levi stood up
and became His follower.
Levi gave a great reception for Jesus in his house, where he was
joined by a large crowd of tax collectors and others at dinner.
The Pharisees and the Scribes of their party said to the disciples,
“Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and non-observers
of the law?” Jesus said to them, “The healthy do not need a doctor;
sick people do. I have not come to invite the self-righteous to
a change of heart, but sinners.” (Luke 5:2 7:32)
was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him and was
deeply moved. He ran out to meet him, threw his arms around his
neck, and kissed him. The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned
against God and against you. I no longer deserve to be called
your son.” The father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring out
the finest robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and
shoes on his feet. Take the fatted calf and kill it. Let us eat
and celebrate because this son of mine was dead and has come back
to life. He was lost and is found.” Then the celebration began.
to the woman, he said to Simon, “You see this woman? I came to
your home, and you provided me with no water for my feet. She
has washed my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
You gave me no kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since
I entered. You didn't anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed
my feet with perfume. I tell you, that is why her sins are forgiven
— because of her great love. Little is forgiven the one whose
love is small.” (Luke 7:4448)
EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE
what must be “done” to inherit everlasting life, Jesus quoted
the Book of Deuteronomy which called the believer to love God
with all of one’s heart, soul, and mind. Then he added from the
Book of Leviticus the call to love one’s neighbor as oneself.
Christian life, life as a disciple of Jesus, has to do with conversion
to this manner of love. This relationship of love is a gift. When
we sin, we make choices that damage, inhibit, ignore, or resist
this relationship of love. Sin has to do with relationship and
choice. Sometimes we actually choose to damage our relationships;
other times we simply refuse to choose, which also damages our
relationships. Examining our conscience means simply examining
our choices as disciples looking at our relationships. What we
do or don’t do is important. That we love as Jesus did,
relate to God, brothers, sisters, and the world around us
as Jesus did, is essential. Using the following questions or others
with which you are more familiar, examine your conscience.