Parishioners encouraged to participate as part of Lenten Observance and to welcome back someone you know who has been away
On the evening of Wednesday, February 20th from 5-8 p.m. ALL of the churches in the eight counties of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland will open their doors and offer the Sacrament of Penance…confession.
Catholics across the Diocese are asked to invite someone who may have been away from the faith for whatever reasons to participate at this special time as an occasion to return.
Each parish is asked to present a welcoming atmosphere that allows the non-practicing Catholic to understand that the Catholic Faith seeks to have them return and understand the role which the Faith can play in their lives. This effort is part of the “Year of Faith” as proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI as we look to “Living Our Relationship with Jesus Christ” as expressed by the Diocese in this Year of Faith.
Why Confession? The sacrament offers a grace-filled means for a person to return and enhance his relationship with God. Confession is not intended to be scary, it is a sacrament of healing and a step in faith. Often, Catholics and fallen-away Catholics express feelings of peace, joy, relief, and love as Jesus offers his mercy and welcomes them back.
The location of a parish near you is available by clicking on our "parish locator." Click here>
Review USCCB news release titled, "Bishops Release Penance Statement, Encourage Sacrament's Use In Parishes For Lent">
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Why should we confess our sins to a priest? Why not go directly to God and ask forgiveness?
March 9, 2010 by Fr Sony Sebastian Palathra CMI
Sin is an offence against God; it also damages communion with the Church. Therefore, sin is not only personal but communal. Hence, it requires both God’s forgiveness and our reconciliation with the Church.
Only God forgives sins. But he gives this power to His Apostolic successors to exercise in His name.
Christ sent his Apostles so that the repentance and forgiveness of sin should be preached to all Nations. It is Christ Who acts in the Sacraments to communicate His grace. God the Father always hears the prayers of the Church.
“Whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven them; whose sins you shall retain they are retained. ” ( Jn. 20). Also to Peter He says, “I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven (Matt. 16).”
Confessing to a Priest The confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of the Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation, by this Sacrament God grants pardon and peace.
Sacraments are conferred by priests. The priest stands for Christ, the son of God. The priest is a representative of Christ. To hear the words of forgiveness from another human is encouragement.
The priest also gives advice, in the Sacrament of Penance, to help us improve our living. We all need guidance and direction. This Sacrament has a human and divine element. We do our part by admitting our faults; the priest does his part through absolving and administering a penance. We also receive healing of hurt and anger through this sacrament. This is done by the power of the Holy Spirit who commissions the priest to carry out the mission of Jesus.
The ordained priesthood guarantees that it really is Christ Who acts in the Sacraments, through the Holy Spirit, for the Church. The saving mission entrusted by the Father to Jesus was committed to the Apostles and their successors who act in His name.
God and the whole company of heaven rejoice at the return of one of God's children who was lost.