By Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond
Clarion Herald – 9/9/17
To: Clergy, Religious and Laity of the Archdiocese of New Orleans
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
It is our archdiocesan tradition to offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation, better known as confession, on a weekday evening near the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. I am pleased to inform you that many people in the Archdiocese of New Orleans have taken advantage of this opportunity and the priests have decided to continue this practice.
This year confessions will be available in all Catholic churches in the Archdiocese of New Orleans on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Please consider taking advantage of this opportunity to invite the healing Christ into your heart with his promise of mercy.
Pope Francis reminds us, “God is a Father, and he is always waiting for us! It is so wonderful to feel the merciful embrace of the Father in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The confessional is a place of mercy.”
Please consider having your family come to church together for Confession on Wednesday, Sept. 13.
Wishing you God’s blessings, I am
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond
Archbishop of New Orleans
A guide for going to confession
Before going to confession, you should prayerfully compare your life with the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes and the example of Christ. Using an Examination of Conscience, such as the one provided on the reverse side can be helpful.
- Go to Confession
After the priest welcomes you, both of you make the Sign of the Cross. Then you may want to talk about yourself, your situation and difficulties you face living a Christian life and tell him the last time you went to confession.
- The Word of God
You or the priest may read one of the suggested scriptural passages.
- Confession of Sins
Confess your sins. The priest then offers suitable advice and gives you an act of penance, which may include prayer, self-denial or works of mercy.
- Act of Contrition
Pray a prayer expressing sorrow for your sins and resolving not to sin again. A suggested prayer is:
I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong
And failing to do good,
I have sinned against you
Whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help,
To do penance,
To sin no more,
And to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior Jesus Christ
Suffered and died for us.
In his name, my God, have mercy.
(Rite of Penance, no. 45)
The priest extends his hands over your head and pronounces a formula of absolution, making the sign of the cross over your head during the final words. You answer, “Amen”.
The priest dismisses you with the command to go in peace. Continue to express your conversion through a life renewed according to the Gospel and the love of God.
Examination of Conscience
- Have I treated people, events, or things as more important than God?
- Am I actively living my Catholic faith and, if I have them, raise my children in the faith?
- Have I been ashamed to speak about my faith?
- Have my words, actively or passively, put down God, the Church, or people?
- Do I go to Mass every Sunday (or Saturday Vigil) and on Holy Days of Obligation?
- Do I look for ways to spend time with family or in service on Sunday?
- Do I use my gifts and talents to serve God?
- Do I take time for prayer?
- Do I care for those around me or do I use them to get what I want?
- Do I show respect to my parents and those in positions of legitimate authority?
- Do I show respect to my children and others who are under my authority?
- Have I taken or wasted time or resources that belonged to another?
- Am I lazy?
- Have I harmed others through physical, verbal, or emotional means?
- Do I look down on those who are different from me?
- Have I gossiped, told lies or embellished stories at the expense of another?
- Have I respected the physical and sexual dignity of others and of myself?
- Have I honored my spouse with my full affection and exclusive love?
- Am I content with my own means and needs, or do I compare myself to others unnecessarily?
- Do I seek to fill what is lacking in my life with material possessions?
- Am I sincerely sorry for the things I have done wrong?