Confessions are heard at the times listed below or by appointment to be convenient for the penitent.

Confession Schedule:
Saturday: 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sunday: 7:00 a.m. – 7:45 a.m.
Monday: 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Tuesday: 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Wednesday: 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m.
First Friday: 3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
First Saturday: 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. & 9:00 a.m.

Confession, Penance, and Reconciliation

by Fr. Brian Lynch

Jesus was born to forgive sins, and we need his forgiveness because we are sinners. Sometimes we do things that are evil, wrong, or selfish. When we know they are wrong and freely choose to do them, they are sins. If they are serious matters (murder being the most obvious serious matter) they become serious or mortal sins. When a person has committed a mortal sin, his or her relationship with God and the Church is seriously damaged. Such a person must formally apologize to God and the Church before fully participating in the Mass by receiving Holy Communion since receiving Holy Communion is the sign of our friendship with God and the Church.

The Church has a sacrament for apologizing to God and the Church so that we can be brought back into healthy friendship. There are a few different names for this sacrament that emphasize different aspects of the sacrament. The name “Confession” gets at the telling of the priest the “number and kind” of our serious (mortal) sins. The name “Penance” gets at the component of our apology that in some way “makes up” for the wrong that we have done. The name “Reconciliation” gets at the desired outcome of the sacrament: being restored to healthy friendship with God and the Church.

This sacrament is of great significance to God. Nearly the first thing the Risen Jesus did after appearing to the Apostles on the first Easter Sunday was give them the ability to forgive sins in his name by breathing on them and saying: “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (John 20:22).

This ministry of forgiving sins has been entrusted by the Apostles to their successors, the bishops. By ordination to the priesthood by a bishop, a Catholic priest has the ability to forgive sins in the name of Jesus; it is Jesus himself who forgives through the blessing of the priest.

Reconciliation is celebrated at Our Lady of the Prairie in the confessional near St. Joseph’s altar on the east side of the church. A priest is there during the times listed above to celebrate the sacrament.